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Values in criminology and community justice$
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Malcolm Cowburn, Marian Duggan, Anne Robinson, and Paul Senior

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447300359

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447300359.001.0001

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Reflections on values and ethics in narrative inquiry with (ex-)offenders

Reflections on values and ethics in narrative inquiry with (ex-)offenders

Chapter:
(p.329) Nineteen Reflections on values and ethics in narrative inquiry with (ex-)offenders
Source:
Values in criminology and community justice
Author(s):

Paula Hamilton

Katherine Albertson

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447300359.003.0019

This chapter discusses the contours of debates around values and ethics when conducting narrative interviews with (ex-) offenders. In particular, two desistance-focused research projects are used to highlight the challenges faced by the reflexive researcher around ‘taking sides’. Practical strategies which were used at pre-interview, in-situ and post-interview stages are highlighted, along with the more conceptual struggles experienced around interpretive authority and appropriate researcher/subject sympathy.This chapter concludes that a clear, yet often challenging, distinction is required between empathy and sympathy. This can assist in ensuring researchers do not fall into such a deep sympathy with the people they are studying, that they begin to engage with the right/wronged morality paradigm. In line with Becker’s critique this distinction, to some extent, protects the research from hierarchy of credibility issues.

Keywords:   Narrative inquiry, Narrative interviewing, Offenders, Interpretive authority, Ethics, Values, Sympathy and empathy in qualitative interviewing

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