Practical Methods in the Field of Social Exclusion: Advantages and Limitations of Q Methodology in Sensitive Research

Clara Marlijn Meijer*

*Tämän työn vastaava kirjoittaja

Tutkimustuotos: Artikkeli kirjassa/raportissa/konferenssijulkaisussaLukuTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


This chapter reflects on social exclusion, sensitive research, and the practice of Q-methodology. It is based on a study exploring how Ghanaian young adults identifying as sexual minorities negotiate their sexual and religious identities in their everyday lives in Accra. Q-methodology is a participant-led method that is beneficial in sensitive research, as it enables the participants to open up about sensitive themes on their terms. Sensitive research can be broadly defined as research involving intimate, incriminating, or discreditable themes (Renzetti & Lee, Researching sensitive topics, 1993). For this study, the Faith Q-Sort was used based on Q-methodology. It provides insights into a person’s viewpoints, beliefs, and attitudes. In addition to discussing faith, religion, and secular views, the participants in this study discussed their lived experiences related to sexuality, gender, and sexual stigma. In the spring of 2018, I collected thirty-one interviews and Faith Q-Sets in close collaboration with a Ghanaian human rights NGO. I analysed the results from the Faith Q-Sort in combination with follow-up interviews. While Q-methodology is well-known for its participant-led approach and as a well-suited method to collect views from vulnerable groups, it has also received criticism for being time-consuming and difficult to publish due to its length. More specifically, concerning sensitive research and social exclusion, this method has some practical complications, such as the use of language and being time-consuming. This chapter reflects on these points and the process in the study. It discusses the reflections from the participants to explore how Q-methodology can be a valuable method for doing sensitive research in the field of social exclusion.

OtsikkoContemporary Discourses in Social Exclusion
KustantajaPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (elektroninen)9783031181801
ISBN (painettu)9783031181795
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 1 tammik. 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA3 Kirjan osa tai toinen tutkimuskirja


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