Please note to write this as a response to a peer’s discussion board and not as a paper.
A researcher is interested in studying illegal drug markets. More precisely, they are interested in examining the extent to which drug dealers have abandoned legitimate ways to achieve the American dream. The researcher wants to use a qualitative methodology but is unsure whether they should use complete observation, participation and observation, or covert participation.
In your initial post:
Which method would you recommend to study illegal drug markets?
Justify your choice by highlighting the advantages of this method.
The method that I would recommend for studying illegal drug markets would be participation and observation. Participation and observation consist of a researcher informing some of the members of the group whom he is studying that he/she is a researchers while also actively participating in the groups activities. The reason why I choose this method is because the drug world is a very dangerous one and by building trust and rapport with one or more of the members of the group it would allow the research to become part of the group. If a researcher finds themselves in a position where they are facing committing an illegal activity, they can inform the member that they have established a relationship with that they rather sit this one out and become an observer rather than an active participant. This is not to say that the researcher will not have to engage in unlawful activity ever, but by building trust and rapport with members of the group it can help reduce the instances when this would occur. Additionally, this method will allow the researcher to minimize any risk to the group and/or himself/herself by rival drug dealers.
Bachman, Ronet and Russell K. Schutt. (2017). The Practice of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice, 6th Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
In your response discuss the following:
Critically examine the postings of your peer and consider an alternative position. Discuss the disadvantages of the method selected.
One source must be from The Practice of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice 6th edition by Bachman and Schutt (2017).