'Going deep' and 'giving back': strategies for exceeding ethical expectations when researching amongst vulnerable youth

SOURCE: Research ethics in practice
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2015
TITLE AUTHOR(S): S.Swartz
SOURCE EDITOR(S): J.Scott Jones
KEYWORDS: ABORTION, ETHICS, RESEARCH, YOUTH
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 8895

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Abstract

In this article, the authors draws on emancipatory research with its emphasis on empowerment, 'a participatory worldview' (Boog, 2003: 427), and according to Baker et al. (2004: 169-188), the democratization of the creation of academic knowledge through the use of multiple perspectives, and the view that the marginalized have a moral right to own and control knowledge produced about them. Integral to emancipatory approaches to research is a reliance on the ethics of human rights and equal power, and acknowledgment of the ways in which the academy and academic knowledge in particular are deeply implicated in the operations of power (Baker et al., 2004: 169). With regard to this latter point, emancipatory research draws heavily on feminist arguments that link research ethics to power, and prioritizes the assessment of researcher's social positions and subjectivities so that distortion, silencing and misrepresentation are less likely to occur (Kirsch, 1999). Such a feminist and emancipatory position not only accepts responsibility for the protection and fair representation of participants, but also attempts to engage in research that offers a 'parallax of perspectives' (Ginsburg, 1995; Sameshima, 2007). These different angles of vision (Ginsburg, 1995: 65) ensure research participants (and the topic under scrutiny) are not misrepresented through shallow, monocled gazes, but instead take every opportunity to consider participants perspectives in ways that allow a reader to change position as the subject is viewed from changing perspectives.