Ethnography: Doing research with young people outside of education and employment

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This case explores the issues involved when doing a three-year ethnography with 24 not in employment, education, or training (NEET) young people in the North of England. Young people not in employment, education or training are not a static, homogeneous group. For most, being not in employment, education, or training is a temporary state as they move between different forms of participation and nonparticipation. The ethnography aimed to understand what life was like for these young people as they existed outside of education and employment spheres, as well as how and why they moved between them. The ethnography was largely led by the young people themselves in terms of when and where fieldwork took place. Fieldwork consequently occurred across multiple sites and incorporated multiple research methods which compounded issues of gaining and maintaining access, acquiring informed consent, and leaving the field. This case reveals how ethics, power, and consent were experienced by the ethnographer and the young people. There is a need to understand how ethnographies are done in situ to clarify how specific issues can be avoided and overcome.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
PublisherSAGE Publications
ISBN (Electronic)9781526427694
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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