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prof. ragland publishes book chapter on ethics, visual representation

July 2022

“Visually Representing Rural: Ethics of Photographing Marginalized People in the Rural South,” a book chapter co-authored by Assistant Professor Jared Ragland and University of Alabama at Birmingham criminologish Heith Copes, Ph.D., is included in Research Methods for Rural Criminologists, edited by Ralph Weisheit et al., and published by Routledge. The research is drawn from their collaborative, longitudinal photo-ethnography, Hellbender.

About the book:
Research Methods for Rural Criminologists explores the various issues, challenges, and solutions for rural researchers in criminology. Integrating state of the art methodological approaches with practical illustrations, this book serves as an internationally comprehensive compendium of methods for students, scholars, and practitioners.

Conducting rural criminological research exposes researchers to concerns such as absence or inadequate official data about crime and superficial rural-urban comparisons, rural isolation and distance from the researchers’ office to the study site, and lack of services or access to justice. This distinct cultural context means that studying rural crime requires creatively adapting existing research methods. Conducting research about or in rural settings requires unique researcher preparation, as everything from defining the space at the conception of a project to collecting and analyzing data differs from urban research. 

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