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Unsettling Research Ethics: A Collaborative Conference Report (Resources: Natalie JK Baloy et al 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on October 10, 2016
 

An Invitational Conference
February 25-26, 2016
Collaborative Conference Report
June 30, 2016

The UC Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California (CCREC) is a multi-campus research initiative that links inter/trans-disciplinary university researchers, community organizations, and policy makers in equity-oriented, collaborative, community-based research projects. These projects aim to achieve creative solutions to the interrelated challenges in the economy, employment, education, environment, food systems, housing, and public health. CCREC seeds, incubates, and supports ethically informed collaborative research for justice, and it prepares a new generation of engaged scholars and community leaders who seek to make truth matter in the public sphere. CCREC also builds institutional capacity for collaborative community-based research methodologies. At the same time, CCREC undertakes critical analyses of these very modes of research and the complex ethical questions they raise for university collaborations with aggrieved communities specifically and for social science research more broadly.

Executive summary

The University of California Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California (CCREC) hosted the Unsettling Research Ethics invitational conference in February 2016. Designed to disrupt formalized approaches to research ethics, the conference facilitated critical dialogue among social scientists, ethics specialists, community-based and collaborative researchers, and community leaders. This dialogue was graphically visualized and documented in real time by a graphic facilitator, Julie Gieseke of Map the Mind, thereby providing materials used in the knowledge production of the conference itself and reworked for this report.

The Unsettling Research Ethics conference and report presents a distinctive framework for grappling with the ethics of research, surfacing ethical tensions and dilemmas through the domains of knowledge, relationality, and space and time. This framework aims to deepen ethical praxis and professional formation for researchers and collaborators. Included in this report are learning tools like innovative cases, games, heat maps, and other materials designed for deep engagement with fraught ethical matters…

Baloy, Natalie JK, Sheeva Sabati, and Ronald David Glass (Editors). Unsettling Research Ethics: A Collaborative Conference Report. Santa Cruz, CA: UC Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California. June 30, 2016. https://ccrec.ucsc.edu/sites/default/files/attachments/2016.06.30%20Unsettling%20Research%20Ethics%20Report_LOW%20Res.pdf

Positionality and Ethics in the Qualitative Research of Migrants’ Homes (Papers: Anna Pechurina 2014)0

Posted by Admin in on October 9, 2016
 

Abstract

This article discusses ethical decisions in the qualitative research of homes, with particular focus on a situation, in which a researcher studies his/her own migrant community. While exploring more common topics, such as negotiating access and receiving permission to photograph within participants’ homes, this article will also highlight issues that occur specifically within community-based ethnographic studies among Russian migrants. Using examples from the study of Russian immigrants’ homes in the UK, this article raises important questions of social positioning and power distribution within studied community. It will demonstrate the complexities of ethical decision making at different stages of the research process, which reflects the constantly changing relationship(s) between the cultural and social backgrounds and identities of researchers and participants. The insider and outsider role of the researcher is relative and the constant need to balance it, while simultaneously creating difficult ethical dilemmas, often reveals rich data and moves the whole research process forward.

Keywords: Research Ethics, Positionality, Ethnography, Russian Migration, Home Studies, Visual Research

Pechurina A (2014) Positionality and Ethics in the Qualitative Research of Migrants’ Homes. Sociological Research Online. 19(1)4
http://www.socresonline.org.uk/19/1/4.html
Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271155221_Positionality_and_Ethics_in_the…

This Rant is for Social Scientists – Inside Higher Ed (Barbara Fister September 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on October 5, 2016
 

Cognitive dissonance made me do it. If you want social justice, why do you let your research be locked up for profit?

I’m reading Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by urban ethnographer and extraordinarily fine writer Matthew Desmond. It’s a model of narrative non-fiction and ethical story-telling about people whose lives belong to them but whose stories reveal a lot about exploitation, poverty, and the complexity of untangling the multiple strands that go into a social problem. It’s hard to get Evicted that balance right – communicate stories without manipulating either the reader or the subjects. Desmond shows how to tell such stories respectfully and with empathy, somehow magically bringing us inside the circle of lives that are not ours, inviting us to do the work of understanding rather than telling us what to think. I’m not even halfway through yet, but it’s brilliant, and I love the way he weaves something of a journalistic sensibility (for example, pointing out that when he didn’t personally witness something, he confirmed it with multiple sources) with scholarship (e.g. “this experience I’ve just described is consistent with the findings of these studies”). My daughter, who recommended it to me, says she’ll have to read it twice. She knows the footnotes are valuable, but the narrative is so compelling she doesn’t want to break away and look at them this time around.

This book review manages in just a few paragraphs of entrancing prose to artfully make a powerful point about the ethics of conducting research about the poorest in our communities and then publishing in a place and manner accessible to only a lucky few.

It’s not easy to write this well, to combine edge-of-your-seat narrative momentum with scholarly rigor. Not only is it not easy, but we’re schooled to write in an inaccessible style, as if our ideas are somehow better if written in a hard-to-decipher script that only the elite can decode because if people who haven’t been schooled that way can understand it, it’s somehow base and common, not valuable enough. If you’re able to read this message, welcome! You’re one of us. The rest of you are not among the elite, so go away.
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Even worse, we think our hazing rituals around publication and validation are more important than the subjects of our research, who couldn’t afford to read it even if we chose to write in a manner that didn’t require an expensive decoder ring with a university seal on it. We say “it’s for tenure” or “that’s the best journal” and think that’s reason enough to make it impossible for people without money or connections to read it.

Read the rest of this review

Ethical Regulation and Visual Methods: Making Visual Research Impossible or Developing Good Practice? (Papers: Rose Wiles et al 2012)0

Posted by Admin in on October 4, 2016
 

Abstract

The ethical regulation of social research in the UK has been steadily increasing over the last decade or so and comprises a form of audit to which all researchers in Higher Education are subject. Concerns have been raised by social researchers using visual methods that such ethical scrutiny and regulation will place severe limitations on visual research developments and practice. This paper draws on a qualitative study of social researchers using visual methods in the UK. The study explored their views, the challenges they face and the practices they adopt in relation to processes of ethical review. Researchers reflected on the variety of strategies they adopted for managing the ethical approval process in relation to visual research. For some this meant explicitly ‘making the case’ for undertaking visual research, notwithstanding the ethical challenges, while for others it involved ‘normalising’ visual methods in ways which delimited the possible ethical dilemmas of visual approaches. Researchers only rarely identified significant barriers to conducting visual research from ethical approval processes, though skilful negotiation and actively managing the system was often required. Nevertheless, the climate of increasing ethical regulation is identified as having a potential detrimental effect on visual research practice and development, in some instances leading to subtle but significant self-censorship in the dissemination of findings.

Keywords: Visual Research; Visual Methods; Ethics Committees; Ethical Regulation; Research Governance; Qualitative Methods

Wiles R, Coffey A, Robison J and Prosser J (2012) Ethical Regulation and Visual Methods: Making Visual Research Impossible or Developing Good Practice? Sociological Research Online. 17(1)8 http://www.socresonline.org.uk/17/1/8.html
Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227599406_Ethical_Regulation_and_Visual…

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