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  • Writer's pictureCrime in Latin America

“This is My Story” Why People in Prison Participate in Qualitative Research

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

This study aims to understand why people agree to participate in qualitative research. While some studies have emphasized the motivation to participate in research, the nuances and underlying stories that favor participation have not yet been examined.

Using data from repeated biographical open-ended interviews with men and women convicted of violent crimes in Argentina and Chile, we distinguish between stories emphasizing the interviews as a space or opportunity for a) healing and selfimprovement, b) venting emotions, c) presenting alternative stories, and d) creating individual or systemic change. We also discuss stories that indicate a different direction, namely e) skepticism regarding research participation. The stories are discussed in view of self-presentations, the prison context, and issues of consent. Our study underscores the importance of critically exploring widespread narratives about the benefits of qualitative interviews. Understanding the stories that encourage or discourage participation in research allows for a more nuanced comprehension of the recruitment processes, consent to participate, and the qualitative interview dynamics.

“This is My Story” Why People in Prison Participate in Qualitative Research
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