Getting In by Being Out

  • Vanessa R. PanfilEmail author


Here, I describe my path to becoming an ethnographer of LGBTQ people. This includes their experiences with crime, gangs, violence, and victimization, as well as their identities and interactions with others. My academic pursuits began with my interest in others’ lives, particularly those of my peers, and were spurred by my involvement in LGBTQ advocacy that I began as a teenager. I focus on my queer identity, shared with research participants, which has helped facilitate my access, developing trust and rapport, and ability to gather rich and compelling data. Considering issues critical to ethnography such as being reflexive, discussing your social position in relation to participants, and the inductive process, I discuss how to conduct ethical but rigorous studies. Finally, I reflect on the unique opportunities, and potential pitfalls, that students and scholars involved in qualitative methods can look forward to, especially if their academic interests are well defined.


LGBTQ Queer criminology Qualitative methods Ethnography Interviews Advocacy Students Ethics Publishing 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Old Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA

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