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Review 2 of "Snitch. Snake. Mole.: Examining Responses to 'Insider/Outsider' Researchers in Corrections"

...Qualitative...Criminology

Published onOct 25, 2021
Review 2 of "Snitch. Snake. Mole.: Examining Responses to 'Insider/Outsider' Researchers in Corrections"

Vote: Publish


[For votes to count, referees must reasonably explain why they voted as they did. Thus, please explain your vote. If you voted to publish pending minor changes, specify each change, why it is needed, and, possibly, how it should/could be done.]

This research draws mainly on the author’s reflexive field notes on days spent observing correctional officer training. I thought that it was a little light on quoted material from interactions that occurred during the research. The main point of the article at the beginning is that the author’s background as a correctional officer will influence the research endeavor. I thought that the essay was light on proof that this was the case and I also thought that there was insufficient detail on the author’s background. Finally, the mole, snitch and snake distinctions seem rather thin. For example, the snitch and the snake distinction seems to rest mainly on the presence of a recorder and an off-the-cuff joke. Finally, like the convict criminology that the author references, the tone of this article is a bit self-congratulatory and there also similar to that area there is not great evidence that the special position led to any analytical difference, methodological difference or unique findings. These are things for the authors to consider. Overall, I found the article to be a pleasant read and it will at least contribute to the consideration of their positionality in research and in the design of teams for research that the author suggests for subsequent researchers.

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