Researcher as College Coach: Dilemmas and Possibilities in Fieldwork with Adolescents

Researching Children and Youth: Methodological Issues, Strategies, and Innovations

ISBN: 978-1-78714-099-8, eISBN: 978-1-78714-098-1

ISSN: 1537-4661

Publication date: 8 March 2017

Abstract

Qualitative researchers have reflected on their role and position while conducting fieldwork in youth settings; yet, researchers have missed an important aspect of social identity – their own membership and status in higher education. As researchers coming from university institutions, we cannot ignore that we hold knowledge about and familiarity with higher education. Such knowledge can be helpful to a young person’s future, especially in the current period of expanding higher education. What dilemmas and issues emerge when considering the possible role of college coach in fieldwork with adolescents? I draw upon insights by feminist and activist scholars, as well as sociological work on institutional agents and college coaches, to discuss my encounters with African American students in a study of college counseling in a public high school serving urban students. I analyze my temporary and situated role as a college information source in a school with low counseling resources. In doing so, I push researchers to consider university status as a salient identity and point of negotiation in interactions with adolescents in the field.

Keywords

Citation

Gast, M. (2017), "Researcher as College Coach: Dilemmas and Possibilities in Fieldwork with Adolescents", Researching Children and Youth: Methodological Issues, Strategies, and Innovations (Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, Vol. 22), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 103-124. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1537-466120180000022006

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited

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