Self-Reflexivity on Researching Difficult Topics: Lessons Learned from Interviewing Former Members of Organised Crime in Mexico


  • Karina Garcia University of the West of England


Palabras clave:

Mexico, Researchers' emotions, Research on difficult topics, Life story interviews with offenders, Drug trafficking violence



Increasing attention has been paid to the emotional effects that conducting research on difficult topics can have on researchers, yet, the literature documenting successful strategies, and more crucially, the lessons learned from researchers working on these topics is still scarce. This paper aims to narrow this gap by sharing the author’s self-reflexivity exercise about her process of researching drug trafficking violence in Mexico. The article discusses her methodological approach, describes her fieldwork experience, addresses the emotional challenges that she experienced, in particular during the transcription process, and shares the lessons learned during this process.