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“Welcome to Our School! Who Are You Again?” Negotiating Access and Navigating Unexpected Transitions in the Field

By: Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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This case study provides an account of my research journey in one high school. It focuses on the practical issues that can arise when negotiating access. It also attends to the impact that unexpected transitions in the field can have when conducting research. Although ethical dilemmas emerge in multiple moments when conducting research, special attention is devoted to the delicate balance between persistence and withdrawal. What should a researcher do when the administrative structure of a school is far from stable? What is a good moment for one to persist and when should one decide to leave? Although research reflective journeys, in the past, have examined unexpected events in the field, this particular case study examines some intricacies of fieldwork in schools that are underfunded and under-resourced.

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