Establishing Access and Building Rapport with Stigmatized Groups: Interviewing White Power Activists
Justice and Society Studies
race, ethnicity and migration, sociology
This case study illustrates some of the methodological and ethical difficulties of gaining access to those who are members of a stigmatized group. Beginning in 1992 through the early 2000s co-author Betty Dobratz attended rallies and demonstrations of White power supporters to understand this type of right-wing extremism. We also interviewed White power activists, both leaders and followers, as well as collected questionnaires from those we could not directly interview. For the research reported in this case study, we were interested in White power activists' views on both the use of leaderless resistance and violence as strategies for bringing about movement goals. We used qualitative coding as well as statistical techniques to examine data collected from both interviews and questionnaires.
Sage Cases in Methodology