Shots Fired: Navigating Gun Violence and a University’s Intervention While in the Field

  • Marta-Marika UrbanikEmail author


Given the current heat in Regent Park, the killing that occurred last night and the potential for continued retaliation (more shootings, including more drive-bys), I am seriously concerned about your safety. I realize that you think you know what you are doing (as you have expressed to me), and I do not doubt your street smarts or relationships with the guys. Unfortunately, this won’t help saving your life if you happen to be in the line of fire during the next drive-by shooting. We both know that enough people die of senseless violence each year, including in Regent Park, even though the victims are usually keenly familiar with the “street code” and “know what they are doing”. Further, in the wake of last night’s homicide, there will be an intense police presence and related investigation, and you will become known to them as someone who might have information (if you aren’t known to them already). You might also become a target yourself, given that you are known to be associated with that group of young men…

(Excerpt from an email sent from my Ph.D. Committee, August 19, 2015).


Research ethics Dangerous fieldwork Gun violence Street code Junior ethnographer 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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