A researcher's thorny journey of discovery: qualitative research in a prison environment
Source document: . Když výzkum, tak kvalitativní : serpentinami bádání v terénu. Editor: Pavlásek, Michal; Editor: Nosková, Jana. Vyd. 1. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, , Etnologický ústav AV ČR, Praha – pracoviště Brno, 2013, pp. 23-30
The prison world is a sphere of social research that has been a rich source of information on contemporary society. On the one hand we can gain interesting knowledge about the functioning of the prison institution; but at the same time we must overcome many obstacles attached to the prison environment. This paper focuses on the various problems of doing qualitative prison research, and is based on practical experience taken from an ethnographic study of prison guards in the Czech penal system. The aim of this text is to describe the obstacles (for example the very problematic access to prison environment, the problem of respondents' distrust of the researcher, etc.) that cropped up during my own research, and put forward possible solutions. The main point of this text is to show that although prison ethnography is a very difficult and thorny journey of discovery, it is still very worthwhile.
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