The impact of gender when interviewing ‘offenders on offending’
Drawing from representative examples from three qualitative interview studies with active offenders, this chapter addresses the following questions: What role does gender play in the interview process when talking with active offenders? How do social positions of race, class, and age shape this gendered process? In what ways do gendered interactions affect both what offenders tell us about their experiences and how they talk about the nature of their offending? To what extent are the validity and reliability of what we learn affected by the gender combinations of interviewers and interviewees, and how does this vary across setting and context? Finally, what can we learn from interviews in which gender becomes highly salient in the interview context? In discussing these complex issues, I will assess how researchers’ consideration of these issues can optimise what we learn from offenders.