When interviewing “family”: Maximizing the insider advantage in the qualitative study of lesbians and gay men

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34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lesbian and gay investigators who study lesbians and gay men may bring special knowledge and understanding to their research, which can facilitate data collection and analysis. However, inside investigators may mistakenly assume common cultural understandings with interviewees and fail to explore their respondents' unique perceptions. Furthermore, social desirability effects can bias respondent reports. Using illustrations from the author’s research, this article describes the strengths and potential weaknesses of having an inside perspective when conducting qualitative research with gay men and lesbians. Maintaining self-awareness, peer debriefing, and prolonged engagement are offered as ways to maximize the advantages and avoid the potential biases of the insider position.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-30
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services
Volume15
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science

Keywords

  • Emic and etic
  • Gay men and lesbians
  • Inside research
  • Qualitative research
  • Social desirability

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