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Researching Forced Labour in the Global EconomyMethodological Challenges and Advances$
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Genevieve LeBaron

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266472

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266472.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

The Role of Discourse Analysis in Researching Severe Labour Exploitation

The Role of Discourse Analysis in Researching Severe Labour Exploitation

(p.167) 10 The Role of Discourse Analysis in Researching Severe Labour Exploitation
Researching Forced Labour in the Global Economy

Robert Caruana

British Academy

Investigating severe forms of labour exploitation presents a series of particular methodological challenges to researchers in the field, including access to respondents, credibility of data, reliability of measures, researcher ethics and the practical and political dimensions of study design. For researchers embarking on qualitative approaches – whether it involves interviews, ethnography and/or documentary forms of analysis – this Chapter seeks to illuminate the potential of a discursive approach to understanding severe forms of labour exploitation. It aims specifically to help understand how severe forms of labour exploitation are variously constructed as an object of knowledge/s, and how this construction is always contingent upon socio-political con/texts. To this end it recommends the investigation of texts as data, proceeding to discuss some interpretive work generated from an early-stage analysis of media, government and civil society discourses surrounding the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Keywords:   severe labour exploitation, modern slavery, discourse analysis, text

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