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Insider Research in the Study of Youth Cultures

Hodkinson, Paul (2005) Insider Research in the Study of Youth Cultures Journal of Youth Studies, 8 (2). pp. 131-149.

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Ethnographic research on youth cultures, particularly at doctoral level, is often conducted by investigators with some degree of initial cultural proximity to the individuals or cultures under the microscope. Yet elaboration of the practical and epistemological implications of ‘insider research’ among such scholars has been somewhat limited. This article contributes to the development of such discussion through drawing together a range of previous writings and by drawing upon elements of the author's own experience of researching a contemporary youth subculture as a long-term participant of the grouping. In the face of theories emphasising the complexities of identity and the multiplicity of insider views, the paper argues for the continued use of the notion of insider research in a non-absolute sense. Subsequently, it is argued that researching youth cultures from such a position may offer significant potential advantages—in respect both of the research process and the types of understanding that might be generated. It is also suggested, however, that the realisation of such possible benefits and the avoidance of significant difficulties, requires a cautious and reflexive approach.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Date : 1 June 2005
DOI : 10.1080/13676260500149238
Copyright Disclaimer : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Journal of Youth Studies, 2005, available online:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 25 Jul 2014 12:57
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 16:39

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