Researching girls and violence: facing the dilemmas of fieldwork

Burman, M.J., Batchelor, S.A. and Brown, J.A. (2001) Researching girls and violence: facing the dilemmas of fieldwork. British Journal of Criminology, 41(3), pp. 443-459. (doi: 10.1093/bjc/41.3.443)

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This paper explores key methodological and analytical issues encountered in an exploratory study of teenage girls' views and experiences of violence, carried out in Scotland. Researching the ways in which girls conceptualize, experience and use violence raises a number of dilemmas due in part to the sensitive nature of the research topic, and the age and gender of those taking part. Drawing on feminist debates about objectivity, the role of the researcher, power relationships in the production of knowledge, and representation, this article highlights the difficulties of adapting such principles to the day-to-day practicalities of conducting empirical research on girls and violence. It shows how the research itself has been enhanced by having to engage with and work through this complexity.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in British Journal of Criminology following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Burman, M.J. and Batchelor, S. A. and Brown, J.A. (2001) Researching girls and violence: facing the dilemmas of fieldwork. British Journal of Criminology, 41 (3). pp. 443-459. is available online at:
Keywords:Adolescents, Children, Females, Fieldwork, Methodological Problems, Objectivity, Researcher Subject Relations, Violence, Feminist Theory, Scotland, Sociology of Work
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Batchelor, Dr Susan and Burman, Professor Michele
Authors: Burman, M.J., Batchelor, S.A., and Brown, J.A.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:British Journal of Criminology
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2001 Oxford University Press
First Published:First published in British Journal of Criminology 41(3):443-459
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
221961A view from the girls: exploring violence and violent behaviourMichele BurmanEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)L133251018Sociology