Research in the humanities and social sciences thrives on critical reflections that unfold with each research project, not only in terms of knowledge created, but in whether chosen methodologies served their purpose. Ethics forms the bulwark of any social science research methodology and it requires continuous engagement and reengagement for the greater advancement of knowledge. Each chapter in this book will draw from the empirical knowledge created through intensive fieldwork and provide an account of ethical questions faced by the contributors, placing them in the context of contemporary debates surrounding the theory and practice of ethics. The chapters have been thematically organized into five sections: Feminist Ethics: Cross-Cultural Reflections and Its Implications for Change; Researching Physical and Sexual Violence in Non-Academic Settings: A Need for Ethical Protocols; Human Agency, Reciprocity, Participation and Activism: Meanings for Social Science Research Ethics; Emotions, Conflict and Dangerous Fields: Issues of “Safety” and Reflective Research; and Social Science Education: Training in Ethics or “Ethical Training” and “Ethical Publicizing." This inter-disciplinary volume will interest students and researchers in academic and non-academic settings in core disciplines of Anthropology, Sociology, Law, Political Science, International Relations, Geography, or inter-disciplinary degrees in Development Studies, Health Studies, Public Health Policy, Social Policy, Health Policy, Psychology, Peace and Conflict studies, and Gender Studies. The book features a foreword by His Holiness The Dalai Lama.
Table of Contents
I. Feminist Ethics: Cross-Cultural Reflections and Its Implications for Change
2. Gender and HIV/AIDS Policies in India: Critical Reflections on Feminist Research Ethics and "Making an Impact"
3. Outsider Research in Cross-Cultural Gender Project: Lessons from the Field
4. Researching Violence against Women in India: Everyday Challenges of Investigation and Cultural Values
5. Women, War and Silence: Insider’s View of Researching Gender Based Violence in Politically Fragile North East India
II. Researching Physical and Sexual Violence in Not-Academic Settings: A Need for Ethical Protocols
6. The Challenges, Best Practices and Pitfalls of Research on Physical and Sexual Violence Conducted by Humanitarian Actors in Emergencies
7. Ethical Issues for Research Studies on Mistreatment, Sexual Abuse and Rape in Children in Perú
III. Human Agency, Reciprocity Participation and Activism : Meanings for Social Science Research Ethics
8. Responsibility, Sensitivity and Reciprocity: The Practice of Ethical Research and Community Engagement with Vulnerable Groups
9. The Limits of Activism in Ethnographic Fieldwork: Research Ethics and the Predicament of Self-Censorship in Conflict Field Site
10. Transforming the Lens of Vulnerability: Human Agency as an Ethical Consideration in Refugee Research
11. Ethical Reflections in Qualitative Research on Father’s Absence: A South African Township Case-Study
IV. Emotions, Conflict and Dangerous Fields: Issues of ‘Safety’ and Reflective Research
12. The Methodological Challenges of Researching Armed Actors in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
13. Field Work and Safety in Social Science Research Ethics in China: A Comparative Gender Lens
V. Social Science Education: Training in Ethics or "Ethical Training"
14. Vicarious and Secondary Trauma in Interviews on Father Identity and Connections
15. Seeking the True Meaning in Cross-Cultural Research: Addressing the Challenges in Translating and Transcribing in Higher Education Policies
Keerty Nakray is Associate Professor at Jindal Global Law School in New Delhi India.
Margaret Alston is Professor of Social Work and Head of Department at Monash University, Australia.
Kerri Whittenbury is a Senior Research Fellow in the Gender, Leadership and Social Sustainability (GLASS) research unit at Monash University, Australia.
Featured Author Profiles
“I am sure many readers will join me in appreciating the efforts of the editors and all the contributors to this book for the dedication and depth of thought they have brought to a wide range of issues that are of concern today.”
- His Holiness The Dalai Lama
"As we struggle to understand, and manage for the best, this globalized world we are creating, it is vital to have rigorous conceptual models backed by empirical evidence upon which to build policy and practice. Nakray’s new edited volume provides just that. It seeks to help us understand why people do what they do, in all its beauty, horror, awe and banality. Vital reading for anyone interested in the why, and not just the how, of our brave new world."
- Peter Walker, Dean, Falk School of Sustainability, Chatham University
"This wide ranging, meticulously researched and timely collection written by leading thinkers and practitioners provides an overview of the ethical challenges of carrying out social science research in cross cultural contexts. But the authors of its seventeen chapters go much further than this - they provide a set of original new insights that will be of enormous interest to any social scientist interested in engaging with the role of research in the 'real world'."
- David Lewis, Professor of Social Policy and Development, London School of Economics & Political Science
"This book is essential reading for anyone doing research on sexual and gender violence, especially in developing economies. It provides first-hand accounts of ethical problems when researchers study sensitive topics, often with vulnerable populations. Among the areas explored are ethics and power relations when Western researchers or ‘outsiders’ conduct research in developing economies; the gendered risks and benefits for participants and researchers in studies of gender violence; undertaking feminist research that makes a difference for women with HIV/AIDS; ethical frameworks in researching asylum seekers and refugees; ethical problems when interviewing family members and relatives; and critical self-reflections when researching an assumed dangerous ‘other’. Ethnographic field work, interviews, and quantitative data are drawn from Asia (India, Bangladesh, China, Vietnam), Africa (Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa), South America (Peru), and Scandinavia (Sweden). Emphasis is placed on developing ethical research on violence, vulnerable communities, and health, particularly in developing economics and unstable settings; and on devising safety protocols for researchers and participants in these settings. This pioneering book shows how and why research ethics matter in a globalizing world."
- Kathleen Daly, Professor, Griffith University
"Students and faculty of the social sciences, particularly in anthropology and related disciplines, may find the book useful as they prepare to study traditionally marginalized groups and/or sensitive and controversial topics."
--A. P. Schwab, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne