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  1. It is my intention to work very hard to not be yet another colonizing researcher, yes… and yes, I’ll freely confess I’m a bit scared of the stories I may hear. But if I’m going to do anything of worth with this dissertation, I figure I have to be ready to face that possibility as well, you know? *Someone* has to tell the stories, and if I can help get those stories out so things get better for these women… then they win and I’ve done good.

  2. I have to agree with Lou here on all his points. I don’t see you running into any ethics issues in your research. I think, if anything, you going into this forewarned (and a bit paranoid, which I think what both your soc teacher and this book have accomplished more than adequately!) will make it less likely that you’ll do that.

  3. Your worst-case reminds me of several things I’ve seen happen to subcultures I was part of or have followed, except that the people doing the reporting deliberately went on to twist things to make the subculture seem as weird as possible to get better ratings…

    I can’t imagine you’ll do these things. You’re better trained in more modern ways, to listen better and to ask more questions. And you care about people – I’m assuming you’ll care about the people you interview – so that if you have reached a conclusion they disagree with, you’ll engage with them to find out more and correct what you’ve said and how they’re portrayed in the academic world.

    Honestly, I’d be more concerned that hearing their stories of their day-to-day struggles will be incredibly hard for you, because you are a comfortably middle class white woman. I don’t worry you’ll demean them in any way, but that they’ll break your heart.

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