Researching inclusively with people with learning disabilities in prisons

Gormley, C. (2018) Researching inclusively with people with learning disabilities in prisons. In: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2. SAGE Publications: London. ISBN 9781526446060 (doi: 10.4135/9781526446060)

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Very little is known about how people with learning disabilities symbolically engage with imprisonment and discursively account for it within their wider self-narratives. Although there is little published research on this, literature shows that this group are over-represented among prison populations worldwide and that their needs are simply not being met during their incarceration. My doctoral research set out to address this gap in literature by exploring how people with learning disabilities make sense of and adapt to imprisonment. Informed by prison sociology and learning disability studies, I used qualitative methods to research inclusively with people with learning disabilities while being appreciative of the challenges of researching within prison. This case study draws from my PhD fieldwork experiences to highlight some of the key methodological challenges of carrying out work of this kind. It comprises three sections: the first outlines the research design—the research background, methods, access negotiations, and ethics; the second section provides a reflection of the fieldwork process in action; and the final section offers some practical methodological tips to inform future research practice in this area.

Item Type:Book Sections
Keywords:Learning disability, inclusive research principles, qualitative methods, prison research.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gormley, Dr Caitlin
Authors: Gormley, C.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Research Group:Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research
Publisher:SAGE Publications

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