Whose Side are We on? Theory, Practice and Allegiances in Prisons Research
University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law
British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 41, Issue 3, pp. 472-484, 2001
This article reflects on sympathy and the problem of taking sides in research. It is impossible to be neutral, but is it possible to take more than one side? How far is our research distorted, and how far is it strengthened by forming a sympathetic understanding of those we study? What is the relationship between values and social science and how political are our choices about methods and perspectives? These age-old arguments are revisited in a contemporary context in which the superordinates as well as the subordinates feature in the author's research. The article asks whether synthesis is possible or desirable. These questions have important implications for researchers, but they also have significant consequences for the researched.
Date posted: July 16, 2008
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