Methodological considerations for the special-risk researcher: a research note

Alberro, H. ORCID: 0000-0003-1031-5746, 2019. Methodological considerations for the special-risk researcher: a research note. Methodological Innovations, 12 (1). ISSN 2059-7991

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Researchers seeking to investigate the dynamics and individuals constituting today’s myriad social movements must grapple with attendant challenges such as designing a methodological framework appropriate for investigating subjects and phenomena of interest, as well as gaining and maintaining access to groups of interest. Such challenges are magnified many times over when the groups under investigation pose potential special safety risks to themselves as well as researchers through engagement in dangerous or illegal activities, problematize previously conceived research criteria for suitable participants due to their amorphous and transient organizational dynamics or are otherwise difficult to access. In this research note, I recount my experiences in the field and the various methodological readjustments I was compelled to make as a result while conducting qualitative investigations of radical environmental activists for my PhD thesis. It is hoped that the experiences and insights gleaned from the research note will be deemed of value for future scholars engaging in 'special-risk' research.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Methodological Innovations
Creators: Alberro, H.
Publisher: Sage
Date: 2019
Volume: 12
Number: 1
ISSN: 2059-7991
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 14 Aug 2019 09:37
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2019 09:37

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