Thinking with Ethics in and beyond the field
This workshop focuses on ethics in the space in which research is practised. Ethics as research practice involves going beyond the moments of ethics regulation and review to consider how ethical dilemmas feature at all stages of the research process.
Ethical dilemmas are often played out in grey zone areas where regulations and codes of conduct for research integrity are not sufficient to guide the individual researcher. Ethical dilemmas are thus often difficult to talk about or write about – fear of being judged as unethical can make researchers feel vulnerable – and so be reluctant to expose their experiences, this in turn can make it harder to learn. This workshop provides a safe space in which participants – including the workshop convenors – will share reflections on ethics dilemmas across the research process (from inception, through fieldwork and analysis to dissemination).
We offer an opportunity to unpack hesitancy as a way of dealing with real-life research concerns and potential vulnerabilities that have no obvious or easily anticipated solution. Hesitancy offers a productive moment: in refraining from action, we resist the idea of prescriptive formula for ethical research practice, and draw on underpinning knowledge of ethics codes and regulatory systems as a framework for thinking productively about grey zones in research ethics. In this way, the workshop will offer a containing space, where the vulnerabilities of ethical dilemmas and decisions can be shared, and strategies developed through shared reflection and discussion. We will consider how hesitancy can bring about a productive pause, creating a space in which to question immediate impulses and attend to aspects of the situation that are more complicated and difficult to resolve, before moving forwards in considered action.
When out in the field, or engaged in writing and dissemination, the researcher is often left on her own in deciding and manoeuvring potential ethical pitfalls, looking to do the right ethical thing at critical points in the research process. This workshop is designed to provide participants with skills and strategies for recognising and managing uncertainty and not-knowing in the face of ethical risks and dilemmas in the field and in writing about research, drawing in particular on the concept of ‘ethical hesitancy’ as a strategy for thinking with ethics.
Bringing together perspectives from Denmark, the UK and beyond, the workshop will examine the ways in which national contexts and cultural perspectives frame our understandings of what is ethical, what is risky, and who is vulnerable, and hence how we should deal with ethics in research.
7th September 2017
Prof Janet Boddy & Ass Prof Jette Kofoed
Location Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth, University of Sussex
Janet Boddy is Professor of Child, Youth and Family Studies and Director of the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth at the University of Sussex. Her research is concerned with family lives and with services for children, young people and families, in the UK and internationally. She has a long-standing interest in research ethics and governance, and has chaired research ethics committees; she has advised on research ethics for English government, and the European Research Council and was part of the working group undertaking the most recent revisions to the ESRC Framework for Research Ethics. Recent publications on ethics include a working paper for the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods on ethics in secondary analysis, and a chapter in Researching Social Life (Sage).
Jette Kofoed is Associate Professor at the Department of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark, where she has been Director of Doctoral Studies, and teaches on research ethics. During the autumn term of 2016 she was a visitor to the Sussex Humanities Lab. Her research is focused on young people’s digital lives and cyberbullying. She has particular expertise in temporal, visual and affective methodologies, and she has contributed to previous NCRM events on qualitative longitudinal research and on case study methodology. Recent publications on ethics and methodology include papers on hesitancy as ethics (Reconceptualising Educational Research Methodology) and on the ways in which visual methods function as affective wunderkammer, juxtaposing multiple realities (International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education).
All fees include event materials, lunch, morning and afternoon tea. They do not include travel and accommodation costs.
Cancellation Policy: Please be reminded that you will be charged the full registration fee if you cancel your place within 4 weeks before the training delivery date or you fail to attend.
If you are able to fill the place on the course you are cancelling then the cancellation charge will not apply