Dancing with danger: ethnographic safety, male bravado and gang research in Colombia

Adam Baird

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)
    177 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    This article considers the dilemmas and challenges of conducting fieldwork with youth gang members in Medellín, Colombia. It draws upon the author’s experiences to develop the notion of ‘ethnographic safety’, where researchers learn to perceive and avert danger by gaining a ‘feel for the rules of the game’ (Bourdieu, 1992) in violent communities; it problematizes the role that the researcher’s gender and ‘male bravado’ played in accessing and interviewing gang members; considers the ethical conundrums of building rapport with criminal subjects; and discusses the challenges of working in complex, chronically violent communities where there are no simple dichotomies between victims and perpetrators of violence.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)342-360
    JournalQualitative Research
    Volume18
    Issue number3
    Early online date4 Aug 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

    Keywords

    • Dangerous research, researcher safety, ethnography, gangs, Medellín, research ethics, masculinities, Bourdieu

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Dancing with danger: ethnographic safety, male bravado and gang research in Colombia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this