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CONFRONTING THE ETHICS OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

CONFRONTING THE ETHICS OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH Abstract In this article we question the “ethicism” that often permeates the discourse on qualitative research, that is, the implicit idea that qualitative research is ethically good in itself, or at least ethically superior to the uncaring quantitative approaches. In order to throw light on the ethics of qualitative interviews in contemporary consumer societywhat has also been called “the interview society”we draw on microethics as well as macroethics, that is, on the relationships within the interview situation, as well as the relations to society and culture at large. We argue that prevailing forms of warm, empathic interviews are ethically questionable, and, as an antidote, we propose various forms of actively confronting interviews. We argue that ethics is a real and inescapable domain of the human world, and we propose that “The real has to be described, not constructed or formed” (Merleau-Ponty, 1945, p. xi). Therefore we relocate the focus away from the construction of our ethics, to the question of how the researcher should be enabled to skillfully confront ethical reality, particularly by mastering the art of “thick ethical description.” http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Constructivist Psychology Taylor & Francis

CONFRONTING THE ETHICS OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

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References (45)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1521-0650
eISSN
1072-0537
DOI
10.1080/10720530590914789
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract In this article we question the “ethicism” that often permeates the discourse on qualitative research, that is, the implicit idea that qualitative research is ethically good in itself, or at least ethically superior to the uncaring quantitative approaches. In order to throw light on the ethics of qualitative interviews in contemporary consumer societywhat has also been called “the interview society”we draw on microethics as well as macroethics, that is, on the relationships within the interview situation, as well as the relations to society and culture at large. We argue that prevailing forms of warm, empathic interviews are ethically questionable, and, as an antidote, we propose various forms of actively confronting interviews. We argue that ethics is a real and inescapable domain of the human world, and we propose that “The real has to be described, not constructed or formed” (Merleau-Ponty, 1945, p. xi). Therefore we relocate the focus away from the construction of our ethics, to the question of how the researcher should be enabled to skillfully confront ethical reality, particularly by mastering the art of “thick ethical description.”

Journal

Journal of Constructivist PsychologyTaylor & Francis

Published: Mar 16, 2005

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