In chapter 7, Knight states that too many small-scale researchers start without being sufficiently alert to what can go wrong. Novices can be so wrapped up in their own work that they never ask why anyone should be willing to participate and they imagine that organizations will give them access, that people will talk to them and trust them, that practices can be reorganized so that they can do field experiments and that questionnaires will be eagerly completed and swiftly returned. Expert researchers are more pragmatic and allow for access difficulties and low response rates and know how they might adapt their plans if need be.
This worries me, as an issue surrounding my research was already participants. The population I’m focusing on is homeless persons in Toronto. I already perceived that it would be difficult to find these individuals. However, according to Knight, novices just assume that people will be willing to open up and trust them, and that organization’s will let them in. I was going to go to 4 homeless shelters in Toronto to find persons to interview. However, this makes me a bit worried as who’s saying these organization’s will even let me in? Especially with a population that is so vulnerable.
Do you have any suggestions? I was thinking maybe having back up shelters? But I don’t think this will be enough. Any input is greatly appreciated!! Thanks 🙂