“They Won’t Speak to Me, but They Will Talk to You”: On the Challenges Facing a Woman Researcher Doing Fieldwork among Male Ultra-Orthodox Victims of Sexual Abuse
- Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues
- Indiana University Press
- Number 29, Spring 5776/2015
- pp. 108-132
- View Citation
- Additional Information
This article discusses how I, as a female researcher, was able to do research in a field normally off limits to women—male ultra-Orthodox society—in which, moreover, the specific topic, the sexual abuse of boys, is taboo and surrounded by a strong “conspiracy of silence.” Despite the complexity of both the field and the topic, I was able to find and interview a sample of forty ultra-Orthodox victims of sexual abuse. The article describes the multi-channel approach I used to locate potential interviewees. It also introduces that modular typology I developed to facilitate the creation of an interview format appropriate to both the personal and the cultural needs of the interviewees. By using these two strategies, I was able to obtain maximum cooperation.