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Researching death: methodological reflections on the management of critical distance


Reference:

Woodthorpe, K., 2011. Researching death: methodological reflections on the management of critical distance. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 14 (2), pp. 99-109.

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    Official URL:

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2010.496576

    Abstract

    As an academic subject of study, death has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. Yet unlike other topics in the social sciences, death occupies a rather unique status as a research topic. A universal concern that affects everyone, this paper asks whether it is therefore ever possible to achieve a scholarly 'critical distance' from studying a place or people associated with death. Drawing on the author's experience of undertaking an ethnographic study of a London cemetery, the paper reflexively recounts the ways in which the author managed their own critical distance both in and outside of the field. The paper concludes that it is somewhat unrealistic to suggest that a scholar researching death can maintain a complete sense of detachment in light of their awareness of the mortal human condition.

    Details

    Item Type Articles
    CreatorsWoodthorpe, K.
    DOI10.1080/13645579.2010.496576
    DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Social & Policy Sciences
    Research CentresCentre for Death and Society
    Publisher StatementWoodthorpe_IJSRM_2011.pdf: This is an electronic version of an article published in: Woodthorpe, K. (2011) ‘Researching death: methodological reflections on the management of critical distance’, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 14 (2): 99-109. International Journal of Social Research Methodology is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1364%2d5579&volume=14&issue=2&spage=99
    RefereedNo
    StatusPublished
    ID Code18954

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