This article examines the issue of gaining access while doing interpretive work, when the participants sought desire to remain hidden from public view, are not elites, nor outspoken social movement activists, and are not living in a geographically cohesive community. It grows from my research on homebirth midwifery, which has brought me into contact with a group of women who call themselves (some proudly, others sheepishly), “outlaws” and “underground.” Reciprocal relationships, self-reflexivity, community building and entering into friendships — though not conventional within my disciplinary training in political science — were instrumental in helping me find study participants who had a rational and determined interest to remain “under the radar” of scholars and police. My research methods also contribute to the creation of vibrant democratic communities, and in this way, mirror my ideological commitment to creating a more just society through community building.
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