Hear my screams: An auto-ethnographic account of the police


Javaid, A. 2019. Hear my screams: An auto-ethnographic account of the police. Methodological Innovations. 12 (3). https://doi.org/10.1177/2059799119884279
AuthorsJavaid, A.

Other writers, notably police researchers, infrequently discuss the problems and difficulties that they encounter in and outside of fieldwork when doing research on the police. In this article, I piece together some critical and personal reflections of researching the police to provide nuanced information that can help other writers to learn from my own experiences of researching the police and also help them to navigate their own experiences of working with the police for research purposes. These reflections of mine emanate from fieldwork notes and my research diary. I use Ahmed’s The Promise of Happiness as a lens to theorise and make sense of such experiences, understanding how my presence gets in the way of the happiness of others because of my affiliation to sexual violence work. By naming a problem, rape as a problem, I became the problem. The article outlines some of the chief ethical, personal and pragmatic issues that can surface when researching the police. For example, I frequently encountered interrogative questions whereby officers questioned my sexuality, asking ‘are you gay?’ I became a nuisance for the police, a problem by highlighting the issue of male rape as a problem given that it challenges the status quo of normative heterosexuality. I argue that, doing research on the police, which can involve sensitive and challenging work that affects one emotionally, socially and physically, impacts not only the officers being interviewed, but also the researchers themselves. The latter group should be identified much more readily than seems to be the case in the social sciences.

JournalMethodological Innovations
Journal citation12 (3)
PublisherSAGE Publications
Publisher's version
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Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/2059799119884279
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1177/2059799119884279
Publication dates
Print01 Sep 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited28 Oct 2019
Copyright holder© 2019 The Author
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Male Rape, Masculinities, and Sexualities: Understanding, Policing, and Overcoming Male Sexual Victimisation
Javaid, A. 2018. Male Rape, Masculinities, and Sexualities: Understanding, Policing, and Overcoming Male Sexual Victimisation. Palgrave Macmillan.