Using the child and family research arena as a base, and by generating and analysing empirical data according to the grounded theory methodology proposed by Glaser and Strauss (1967), this thesis adopts an empirical approach to the study of the research relationship. More specifically, it explores how researchers (n=13) understand the research process and, in particular, how they negotiate the process of doing research with people and organisations. Four key social actors are identified and discussed. These are: the researchers, the funding agencies, the gate-keepers, and the research groups. Whilst, the issues involved with the post-data collection stages of research are not presented here, the issues associated with the pre-data-collection phases and data-collection phases of research are articulated. Within the pre-data collection phases of research, the process of research generation and how the interests of researchers converge with funding agencies are examined and discussed. Similarly, the roles of gate-keeping groups, who straddle the pre-data collection and data collection phases of research, are also explored and the supporting mechanisms of these relationships highlighted. Finally, the thesis explores the nature of researchers’ relationships with research groups by distinguishing between categorical, collective, and formal, research groups. The mechanisms that support and challenge engagement with these groups are identified and the ethical devices that researchers use to negotiate and manage these relationships are also explored
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