Social study Glossary


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

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

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core definition

Gatekeeper is a term supplied in social analysis to describe persons who are able come arbitrate access to a social role, field setting or structure.

explanatory context

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The complying with are instances of gatekeepers. Medical professionals arbitrate an ill person"s accessibility to a sick role. Publishers arbitrate a writers accessibility to the profession of author. Arts critics and also dealers act as arbiters of agree or desirable (collectable) paintings. Research capital bodies effect accessibility to research study funds and thus arbitrate the nature of research activity.

In basic gatekeepers space not censors, as such, however are connected in negotiation and also impression management. This negotiation revolves approximately the conflict between those seeking accessibility and the organisational involves of those who the gatekeepers represent.

In participant observation research, because that example, researchers ar often vouched for by a gatekeeper, that is usually has a leaderhip or otherwise far-reaching role in a group.

analytical evaluation

Saunders (2006) wrote: :

Gatkeeper:The human who controls research study access. Because that example, the peak manager or senior executive in one organization, or the human within a group or ar who provides the last decision regarding whether to allow the researcher access to wear the research. Gaining accessibility to stay social study is regularly problematic. Friends, contacts and colleagues and also others may be ready to vouch because that a researcher and also the value of the research and act as study sponsors. However, unless permission has been granted through a gatekeeper from within the group, ar or company in which it is planned come undertake the research, the is i can not qualify that accessibility will be permitted in practice.

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associated issues

related areas

See also

Researching the Real people Section 3.4


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