‘Men, we just deal with it differently’: researching sensitive issues with young men

Robb, Martin ‘Men, we just deal with it differently’: researching sensitive issues with young men. International Journal of Social Research Methodology (In press).

Abstract

This article discusses the sensitivities that come into play when researching issues of gender identity and relationships with young men, particularly when the researcher is male. The article argues that the nature of hegemonic masculinity, and the way that masculinity ‘works’ in the research process, means that research with young men on these issues is inherently sensitive and brings with it considerable challenges for researchers. Adopting a psychosocial approach to issues of gender identity, and to conceptualising the research process, the article also argues that it is important to understand the research encounter as an intersubjective process in which the identities of both researcher and researched influence each other in dynamic though often hidden ways. The article discusses these challenges in detail and suggests ways in which researchers might respond to them.

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