Social research Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-20, Social research study Glossary, top quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the writer would welcome any kind of e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 19 December, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2020.

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core definition

Gatekeeper is a term offered in social analysis to describe persons who room able to arbitrate access to a society role, field setting or structure.

explanatory paper definition

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The complying with are examples of gatekeepers. Medical professionals arbitrate an ill person"s accessibility to a ailing role. Publishers arbitrate a writers access to the profession of author. Art critics and dealers act together arbiters of acceptable or preferable (collectable) paintings. Research capital bodies effect accessibility to research study funds and also thus arbitrate the nature of research activity.

In general gatekeepers space not censors, as such, but are involved in negotiation and impression management. This negotiation revolves around the conflict between those seeking accessibility and the organisational concerns of those who the gatekeepers represent.

In participant observation research, for example, researcher ar regularly vouched for by a gatekeeper, that is usually has actually a leaderhip or otherwise significant role in a group.

analytical review

Saunders (2006) wrote: :

Gatkeeper:The human being who controls research study access. For example, the peak manager or an elderly executive in an organization, or the person within a group or neighborhood who makes the last decision as to whether to permit the researcher access to stay the research. Gaining access to stay social research is regularly problematic. Friends, contacts and also colleagues and also others may be willing to vouch because that a researcher and the worth of the research and also act as study sponsors. However, uneven permission has been granted by a gatekeeper from within the group, ar or organization in which it is planned come undertake the research, that is i can not qualify that access will be enabled in practice.

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associated issues

related areas

See also

Researching the Real human being Section 3.4


Saunders, M.N.K., 2006, "Gatekeeper", in Sage thesaurus of Social research study Methods, easily accessible at, accessed 20 January 2013, web page remains 22 December 2016 however no longer open access.