Critical Issues in Researching Hidden Communities

This Special Issue of eSharp represents the culmination of a two-year postgraduate initiative at the University of Glasgow, revolving around research with 'hidden communities'. Financed by the Roberts Fund, the focal point of this project was a two-day postgraduate conference, entitled 'Critical Issues in Researching Hidden Communities' held at the University of Glasgow in October 2008. Like the conference, the set of papers presented in this issue brings together both early-stage researchers and experienced academics, from anthropology, criminology, sociology and political science, to discuss the personal and practical realities of carrying out research with social groups that are difficult to access.

This Special Issue explores research across contrasting research sites with a variety of groups including: racist groups and racist activists in the United States; drug traffickers in Ecuadorian prisons; indigenous peoples from the Central African Rain Forest; male and female prisoners and guards from a number of prison colonies in Russia; nationalists expressing anti-Semitic sentiment in Hungary and young people participating in radical social and political mobilisation in Central and Nordic Europe. This selection of articles demonstrates a variety of methodological approaches to research with 'hidden communities', offering valuable practical advice to postgraduate researchers and progressing ongoing methodological and theoretical debates.

 Stephen Ashe, Alistair Fraser & Teresa Piacentini  'Introduction: Critical Issues in Researching 'Hidden Communities''     SI4 - Introduction
 Kathleen M. Blee  'Access and Methods in Research on Hidden Communities: Reflections on Studying U.S. Organized Racism'  Abstract  SI4 - Blee
 Jennifer Fleetwood  'Emotional work: ethnographic fieldwork in prisons in Ecuador'  Abstract  SI4 - Fleetwood
 Christopher Kidd  'Engaging Anthropology in South West Uganda'  Abstract  SI4 - Kidd
 Laura Piacentini  'Russian prisons: Bringing a riddle out of hiding'  Abstract  SI4 - Piacentini
 Jeffrey Stevenson Murer 'Overcoming Mixed Feelings about Mixed Methodologies: Complex Strategies for Research among Hidden Populations'  Abstract  SI4 - Murer
 Hidden Communities  Complete pdf    SI4 - Hidden Communities