Undercover research is an emotive and controversial field often equated with deception and transgression. Using classic examples and contemporary case studies this book challenges covert research’s dispersed place within the social sciences and rehabilitates its reputation as a powerful research method. Drawing in part on his own undercover research into the night-time economy of bouncers, the author explores the roots and evolution of covert research; his deft treatment of the fear and fascination within furtive fieldwork is grounded in the practicality of the methods and tools needed to conduct quality research in the field. Packed with learning-by-example tips, this book shows that with critical imagination and proper ethical foundations, covert research could be a great addition to your methodological toolkit.

A Covert Case Study of Bouncers in the Manchester Night-Time Economy

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This chapter focuses on a covert retrospective participant observation case study of bouncers in the night-time economy of Manchester in the United Kingdom. I will discuss my case study, comparing it to the work of other researchers who have explored this specific area, as well as others who might echo my research journey.

6.1 Manchester as a case study: my biographical and experiential backyard

The location of Manchester, the UK, for the case study, which is where I live and work, is highly strategic. The city is saturated in popular culture, being named Gunchester, Gangchester and Madchester in the past, and has been well documented by a range of popular journalists and commentators (Haslam, ...

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