This study reflects upon ethical issues and methodological lessons learned by the researcher in conducting fieldwork involving ‘hang-outs’ with law enforcement and gang members in a dangerous favela in Brazil. This paper also emphasizes the relevance of integrating fieldwork into the field of environmental criminological research, especially today when the in-person observation of crime settings has been challenged by the more cost-effective as well as time-effective use of cutting-edge mapping technology, particularly Google Street View. Finally, it discusses the advantages and constraints experienced by the researcher who is an insider to Brazil but is also nonetheless an outsider to the favela, and how occupying such a liminal space impacted the progress of any fieldwork regarding access to information, creating a rapport with both the police and the gang members, and dealing with the problem of conflicting information provided by both parties.
- Environmental Criminology
- policing in favelas