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Fieldwork and Interviewing: Researching Terrorism and Gender and Negotiating Interpersonal Relations and Human Subjects

By: & Published: 2014 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases
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Between 2010 and 2014, we spent periods of time in the Basque Country. During summer 2011, we conducted semi-structured interviews of women politicians and bureaucrats, asking them about the role of women as leaders addressing terrorist violence. Previous studies had examined the role of Basque women in the terrorist organization Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basque Homeland and Freedom), but we sought to interview women involved in other types of political activity—in political institutions and in social movement organizations aimed at peace, prisoners' rights, and/or victims' rights. The basic research questions we address in several of our recent works, both published and forthcoming, include the following: To what extent are women present in terrorism policymaking, as political elites or as social movement activists? How do their professional and personal experiences of terrorism reflect gender relations? This case discusses the use of fieldwork and interviews in the context of terrorism. We explore several important themes of concern to field researchers: ‘going native’, using human subjects protocols, the shifting research contexts of violence and peace, and reflexivity.

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