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Emotion and Sensitive Research

  • Virginia Dickson-SwiftEmail author
Reference work entry

Abstract

Qualitative research on sensitive topics is often an emotional journey, not only for the participants but for others that may be involved along the way. It is now more than 20 years since Raymond Lee authored the seminal works Doing Research on Sensitive Topics, Researching Sensitive Topics, and Dangerous Fieldwork that raised the awareness of the challenges that researchers can face. More recently, Lee and Lee (2012) warned that the emotional challenges that researchers face when doing fieldwork are now difficult to ignore. Given this warning and the growing numbers of reports from researchers, both empirically and in reflective accounts, an examination of the issues is timely for both novice and experienced researchers. Drawing on earlier empirical work with researchers in Australia (Dickson-Swift 2005) and published accounts, this chapter provides an overview of the emotional challenges inherent in this type of research. Suggestions for researchers, research supervisors, and others involved in the research team are presented. These can be adopted by academic or research institutions to ensure that researchers have the necessary support to carryout this important research.

Keywords

Sensitive research Qualitative Emotions Emotional labor Ethics Training 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LaTrobe Rural Health School, College of Science, Health and EngineeringLaTrobe UniversityBendigoAustralia

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