The Indirect Approach: How to Discover Context When Studying Marginal Youth Originalsprak: Engelsk
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Original versionInternational Journal of Qualitative Methods 15(2016) Nr.1 10.1177/1609406916656193
How do we do good guesswork at meaning if our informant lives in a secret world? Doing research often includes awkward moments, unforeseen events, and incidents. Here we name some of these ‘‘happenstances.’’ We suggest that happenstances may offer a solution to the problem of meaning discrepancies: The happenstance is one of those moments that allow the researcher to temporarily bridge into the meanings of his or her informant. We have carried out research on marginal youth. In both of our studies, happenstances have turned interview situations upside down. Here we identify how these unforeseen events provided us with valuable insights into our informants’ contexts. We conclude by addressing how these happenstances, though they appear to be a product of pure accident, may become part of a systematic approach in discovering contextual knowledge.