Media Practice and Everyday Agency in Europe

Title chapter: Roles of a Researcher: Reflections after Doing a Case-Study with Youth on a Sensitive Topic
Authors: Maria Murumaa-Mengel and Andra Siibak
Keywords: Youth Researcher's Roles, Sensitive Topic, Qualitative Research
Abstract: In this paper we analyze the different roles and relationships a researcher might have with the participants of one's study when doing research on a sensitive topic. Our experiences from a qualitative case-study that looked how Estonian teenagers perceive an online pervert are used as an example to ponder about the relationship between the interviewer and interviewees. By scrutinizing the researcher experience in an autoetnographical approach, we will discuss in greater detail four different researcher's roles that emerged during the course of the study: teacher-researcher, researcher-amateur, researcher- friend(ly adult) and researcher-confidant. In the context of this paper we will also ponder about the following aspects - dichotomy of insiderness-outsiderness; entering and exiting the study (or the field), overcoming participants' reluctance to talk on such sensitive subject and handling empirical material on a sensitive subject in a way that maintains the internal integrity.
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