The emotionality of participation: various modes of participation in ethnographic fieldwork on private policing in Durban, South Africa
Diphoorn, Tessa Geraldine (2013) The emotionality of participation: various modes of participation in ethnographic fieldwork on private policing in Durban, South Africa. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 42 (2). pp. 201-225. ISSN 0891-2416
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0891241612452140
This article explores methodological issues as a prominent subject in ethnographic fieldwork conducted on a specific group of private security officers, namely, armed response officers, in Durban, South Africa. Through analyzing several experiences from the field, this article highlights the dialectic between emotions and participation in the field and its imperative role in analysis of the research setting. This article explores three different modes of participation, namely, active participation, reluctant participation, and passive participation. As a heuristic device, such a typology allows us as researchers to analyze our position, as participants, in relation to other research participants. This exemplifies the importance of the emotionality of field experiences in researching violence (and the perpetrators of violence).
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