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Researching Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Hate Crime Using Semi-Structured Interviews: A Case Study of Combining Overt Interview Data With Data Obtained Covertly

By: & Edited by: Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 1
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This case study is based on the issues brought up by a research participant who requested a copy of their interview data, given for a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender hate crime project. The co-authors of this study are the two stakeholders involved in this exchange. James, the researcher, was approached by Chloe, the participant, who wished to use the interview recording in combination with a meeting recording that they had carried out secretly, for the purposes of an art project. The authors reflect on the ethical dimensions of this request, concluding that the ownership of data is unclear. Although using both recordings together risked contaminating the overt data gathered for the project, the dilemma was resolved by a consent agreement that allowed access to the interview data for the sole purposes of the art project. This case study highlights the ethical complexities of both covert and overt data gathering. Readers are encouraged to question the ethical integrity of gathering covert data and to reflect on the ethical ramifications of using both methods in conjunction.

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