Labour pains: some considerations on the difficulties of researching juvenile prostitution
AbstractThis paper reflects on an empirical, retrospective study of juvenile prostitution. It aims to explore the ways in which the practical constraints, practical difficulties and ethical considerations that are inevitably encountered in a 'sensitive' area of research, such as young people who are exploited through prostitution, are intrinsically linked to choice of methods and the process of the research. It argues that in such research pragmatism in choice of methods is necessary to achieve the epistemological aims, of allowing the voices of disadvantaged young people who are exploited through their involvement in prostitution to be heard, while maintaining ethical integrity. In addition the paper reflects on the emotional impact of research such as this on researchers and suggests ways in which research design and the collaborative efforts of research teams may minimise potentially negative impacts on researchers. The author suggests that by anticipating problems posed by research into young people who are sexually exploited through prostitution, ethical and practical difficulties might be negotiated to enable research in this field to be taken forward in the future.
CitationMelrose, M. (2002). 'Labour pains: Some considerations on the difficulties of researching juvenile prostitution' International Journal of Social Research Methodology. 5(4):333
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)