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Walk This Way: The Impact of Mobile and Sensory Methods on Research with Sex Workers and Street Populations

Neville, L., Sanders-McDonagh, E. (2020) Walk This Way: The Impact of Mobile and Sensory Methods on Research with Sex Workers and Street Populations. Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, . ISSN 2211-9507. (KAR id:77605)

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This paper draws on a piece of ethnographic research carried out with outreach workers in London as part of a wider research evaluation. In our attempt to assess the efficacy of services provided by a charitable organization, which has a long history working with street-based sex workers (SBSW) in the Kings Cross area, we evaluated their drop-in and outreach services for this client group, many of whom have high-level needs due to substance misuse and mental health issues. Part of this process involved the use of mobile interviews with outreach staff as they worked, in order to gain better insight into both the realities and lived experiences of women who work (and often live) on the street, and the outreach staff as they went about their daily (or nightly) tasks. We argue that mobile interviews offer a unique way of engaging with vulnerable populations, and enabled us to gain important insights into best practice around effectively engaging with hard-to-reach clients. Likewise, we argue that these walking interviews provided a more ethical strategy for working with an extremely vulnerable group, and gave detailed insights into the practical and emotional difficulties outreach workers face as part of their day-to-day labours which we would not have gained through more traditional interview techniques. We provide empirical data in this paper from these walking interviews, including some sensory findings (haptic, olfactory, and visual) and consider the value of using mobile and sensory methods for criminological research with hard-to-reach populations.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Erin Sanders-McDonagh
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2019 16:37 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:08 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Sanders-McDonagh, E.:
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