Survival of the Fastest: Ethical Dilemmas in Research with 'Boy Racers'

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This article grapples with the ethical dilemmas of youth research, and more specifically ‘edgework’, via an experiential account of fieldwork with ‘boy racers’ in Aberdeen, Scotland. ‘Edgework’ is ethically problematic for those who wish to conduct fieldwork with youths. By engaging in ‘edgework’, researchers can find themselves unwittingly drawn into the deviant activities of youths, as deviance slowly becomes the norm through prolonged immersion in their social world. ‘Edgework’ also blurs the line between insider and outsider status, threatening the researcher’s ability to step back from the field and critically reflect on their experiences. Furthermore, the experiential aspect of the ‘edgework’ method is called to the fore since the researcher’s experiences of risky behaviours (in terms of discomfort) differed from those of the researched (in terms of pleasure).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-288
Number of pages16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2013


  • youth
  • automobility
  • risk
  • boy racers
  • car culture
  • ethnography
  • ethics


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