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.

Introduction

Abstruse, bamboozle, betray, blagging, bogus, cagey, camouflaged, chameleon, cheating, chicanery, circumvent, clandestine, cloaked, closet, con, concealed, counterfeit, crafty, cunning, deceitful, deception, disassembly, disguised, dishonest, disingenuous, diversion, double dealing, double faced, dupery, duplicity, entrap, espionage, evasive, fakery, false, feigned, fictitious, fiddling, fleece, fly, fool, fraudulent, furtive, guileful, hidden, hoax, hoodwink, illusionary, imposter, incognito, infiltration, insidious, kid, lying, malingering, masked, misleading, misrepresentation, mock, mole, obscured, pretence, pseudo, ruse, scam, scheming, secret, shady, shifty, shrouded, skulduggery, skulking, slinking, sly, sneaky, snooping, spoof, spying, stealthy, sting, surreptitious, swindle, treachery, trickery, underhand, unsuspected, veiled, wily.

All the above terms, and more, are associated with undercover or covert research. There is a classic fear and fascination with covert research. It is a highly emotive and controversial area of study, which is ...

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