There was no way of recognizing who were the image makers and identifying what Jan described as 'the framing influences within a culture' other than by becoming immersed in the daily workings of the related cultures of educational, police and juvenile justice district offices. Knowing and understanding the territory and, above all, establishing trust can't be achieved by carrying out a few interviews and dropping in at a few meetings.
It was probably inevitable that the original time allocated for data collection had to be extended in order to accommodate the whole gamut of policy processes associated with school non-attendance. In fact, she found she frequently had to return to the field beyond the initial data-collecting period, which can be dangerous. Such a practice has been known to result in the researcher collecting more and more data but never quite managing to get down to the task of deciding what to do with it.
One legitimate reason for her regular return to the field was that her original neat time line did not always coincide with real life. She wished to follow the progress of some students from their first reported truancy to their final exclusion from school, but the dates for exclusion and review panels and