This article is dedicated to an in-depth discussion of the theme “community” and the implications the multiple meanings of community hold for the field of qualitative research. This theme surfaced from Waldern’s 2003 study entitled Resistance to Research in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, which dealt with participant resistance to joining research efforts, and deserves the attention of all social researchers. In this article, the politics of the rese arch process are discussed to evaluate and suggest improvements for reflexive methods of inquiry. Determining that the idea of “community research ” is a myth, this work is concerned about making qualitative methods more sensitive to social inequality without compromising their rigour


Community Research, Resistance, Reflexive Methods, Methodology, Urbanology, Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, and University Relations


I am grateful to all my participants for their knowledge, comments and assistance. They include Prostitution Counselling Alternative Education Society, the Downtown Eastside Youth Addition Services, Brian Elliott in the Department Anthropology and Sociology at the UBC, Judy Oberlander at Harbour Center City Programs at SFU, two student researchers and five area residents. I would like to acknowledge the assistance of Stacy Pigg and Dara Culhane, my supervisors at SFU. I give special thanks to Dara for helping me to sort out the data on “community” and guide my reflections. I appreciate the assistance of the clerical staff and the support and interest of all my colleagues in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at SFU.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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