Perplexing positions: the researcher’s role and ethics in the field

auteurs Camille Claeys
  Sofie De Kimpe
  Els Dumortier
tijdschrift EJPS (ISSN: 2034-760X)
jaargang Volume 5
aflevering Special Issue: Observing the observers: Ethnographies of the social world of the police
onderdeel Articles
publicatie datum 30 mei 2017
taal English
pagina 133
keywords Ethnography, ethical issues, methodological issues, juveniles, Police interrogations

While undertaking qualitative research, researchers often experience issues with an emotional
or ethical charge. This backstage reality of the research process is not often discussed in public.
In this article, we argue that (ethical) research inheres an important learning process. Research
errors – in this article ‘dilemmas’ – should be revealed to the academic world rather than swept
under the carpet. Researchers should be encouraged to describe and reflect on these dilemmas
as it helps them to become more aware of what they are doing when they are in the thick of their
research. Using this (ethical) reflexivity, our article examines real ethical dilemmas encountered
in the field by a junior PhD researcher. In doing so, more methodological awareness was created
and the research quality was increased. We hope this ethical reflexive exercise will inspire other
researchers and contribute as such to the greater body of methodological knowledge.