Edited by Lize A.E. Booysen, Regine Bendl and Judith K. Pringle
Chapter 4: Negotiating, gaining and maintaining access: what can we learn about diversity?
Access is often reported on as if it was merely a practical question of contacting a gatekeeper and gaining access to an organization. In this chapter this view is questioned, and alternative perspectives to access are discussed. Most importantly, the question of whether there is something to be learnt about the topic under study from access negotiation is posed. Louvrier illustrates that access-negotiating processes can produce valuable data about diversity; in her study, challenges in gaining and maintaining access to participants provided important insights about the societal context, organizational power relations and identity dynamics impacting the meanings of diversity. She suggests that researchers could be more attentive to, and open about, their research processes and treat unpredictable turns in access negotiations not as failures, but as valuable and natural parts of data production processes.
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