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Researching inequalities: lessons from an ethnographic\ud study

By G. Mir

Abstract

Studies exploring health inequalities have often demonstrated the inappropriateness of service provision in relation to the needs of disadvantaged communities. However, the research methods used to explore these issues have been subject to less scrutiny. This chapter considers whether research methods used for a study of long-term illness in a Pakistani community in the UK were appropriate\ud and sensitive to the needs and priorities of Pakistani people. Findings in relation to fieldwork revealed\ud the value of ethnographic methodology in providing context to data from semi-structured interviews. However, attitudes towards research within the Pakistani community, which formed part of this context, indicated that many Pakistani respondents felt disengaged from and cynical about the research process. They also felt vulnerable to exploitation and to abuse of trust from researchers and other professionals. These findings have implications for the methodological approaches adopted during research and their acceptability to research subjects in marginalised communities. Research methods and designs that engage individuals and offer reciprocity through practical outcomes that meet their needs are suggested as more appropriate than traditional qualitative methods

Publisher: Muddy Creek Press
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:10715

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