In the shadow of deception: Ethical dilemma, positionality, and reflexivity in ethnographic fieldwork

Liong, M. (2015). In the shadow of deception: Ethical dilemma, positionality, and reflexivity in ethnographic fieldwork. Qualitative Research Journal, 15(1), 61-73.

Article discusses the difficulties and potential of leading ethnographic research among people with beliefs that are opposed by the researcher and the importance of reflexivity in confronting ethical issues at the field site. Author found himself in a dilemma of ethical tug of war with the people he was studying and neither staying silent or confronting the subjects was an option. After being intensely self-reflective and self-interrogating the author was able to engage with the subjects and perform ethical and effective research to understand, challenge and change the power structures and relationships. The value of this paper expresses bureaucratic ethical guidelines are not always enough to produce ethical ethnography.

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