Ethics

Style Guide for Intersectional Writing

Hanna Thomas and Anna Hirsch. (2016). A Progressive’s Style Guide. Sum of Us.

Language has politics. Writing in a style that is inclusive and ethical is a skill, and this excellent text offers guidelines and examples of language for writing for diverse, intersectional audiences. There are sections for different topics, such as age, disability, economy, health, Immigration, and Indigeneity, among many others, and each section begins with guiding principles.

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Evaluating Research Outcomes: Worksheets & Assignments

@KingBaino, 2016. “Checklist: Evaluation Outcomes,” Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Zahara, Alex, 2016. “Checklist: Evaluation of Research Outcomes,” Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Liboiron, Max, 2016. “Assignment: Evaluation of Research Outcomes,” Memorial University of Newfoundland.

If research aims to make change, then an evaluation checklist helps the researcher determine if their research has created the desired impact. It can also guide the researcher to think about how they might conduct, write, or disseminate their research in such a way that it is more likely to make change. The above assignment on Evaluation of Research Outcomes asks students to create an evaluation checklist for their action-based research. The two checklists by @KingBaino and Alex Zahara are two examples of what such an evaluation entails. The @KingBaino checklist is focused on influencing policy on development aid through a master’s thesis and white paper, and Zahara’s checklist is about conducting deeply ethical and action-oriented research on contamination in Aboriginal territories for a PhD dissertation.

Anonymous Sources in News Stories: Justifying Exceptions and Limiting Abuses

Boeyink, David E. 1990. Anonymous Sources in News Stories: Justifying Exceptions and Limiting Abuses. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 5(4): 233–46.

Abstract: As discussion intensifies, and critics exploit what they see as a serious press abuse of anonymous sources, this article explores current practices and policies, as well as examines justification for and danger of anonymous source usage. Seven guidelines are listed and discussed which may help editors and reporters decide whether to use the anonymous source: editor authorization, just cause, last resort, fullest possible identification, proportionality, just intentions, and second source verification.

R-Words: Refusing Research

Tuck, E. and K.W. Yang. (2014b). ‘R-Words: Refusing Research’ in D. Paris and M. T. Winn (Eds.) Humanizing Research: Decolonizing Qualitative Inquiry with youth and Communities. Thousand Oakes, CA: Sage Publications.

In this paper, Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang develop their three ‘axioms’ or guidelines for refusal, which are briefly mentioned in Tuck in Yang (2014a). The authors suggest that refusals are conducted in three parts: 1) first a research participant refuses to engage in a particular conversation; 2) a researcher agrees to also refuse; and 3) as a result, Indigenous sovereignty over a particular knowledge claim is maintained. After doing so, the chapter examines what it means to engage with ethnographic refusals ‘generatively’, as per Simpson (2007). They suggest that all refusals are generative because they redirect the focus of research towards processes of power, thus decentering narratives of damage or destruction. Doing so sets limits to what issues are known by, and therefore responded to, through a logic of settler colonialism.

Editor’s note: This is an amazing text.

Unbecoming claims: Pedagogies of refusal in qualitative research

Tuck, E. and K.W. Yang. (2014a). Unbecoming claims: Pedagogies of refusal in qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry 20 (6): 811-818.

This paper examines ‘refusal’ as an anti-colonial method for analyzing and communicating research data. The researchers draw on the work of Indigenous scholars, to argue that so-called ‘objective’ methods of ethnographic data analysis are colonial in that they reduce individuals and experiences to ‘objects’ that are extracted and claimed by the academy. Specifically, the authors assume that: 1) Studies focusing on the pain of marginalized groups are exploitative and unhelpful; 2) That there are some forms of knowledge that should be kept out of the academy; and 3) Research might not be the most appropriate intervention to a given situation. Using these points as a guide, the article provides concrete examples of how refusal can be incorporated into research design (to focus on institutions and power, rather than the ‘social problems’ of marginalized groups), data collection (being attentive to the refusals made by study participants) and analysis (to refuse to report these refusals within the academy).

Ethical Futures in Qualitative Research: Decolonizing the Politics of Knowledge

Denzin, Norman K., and Michael D. Giardina. Ethical Futures in Qualitative Research: Decolonizing the Politics of Knowledge. Left Coast Pr, 2007.

Decolonized methodologies: with key changes in the nature of qualitative research, such as the breakdown of barriers between the researcher and subject, there are emerging ethical issues that researchers have to deal with. Different aspects of ethics in qualitative research are addressed by different experts in the book.These aspects include research ethics for protecting indigenous knowledge, relational ethics in research with intimate others, and challenges in ethical research practice.

‘Up the Anthropologist: Perspectives Gained from ‘studying up’

Nader, L. (1969) ‘Up the Anthropologist: Perspectives Gained from ‘studying up’’pp. 284–311 inD. Hyms (ed) Reinventing Anthropology. New York: Random House

‘Studying up’ is an approach that includes the perspectives of those at the middle and the upper ends of a stratified society as well as (or rather than) those in the lower end in trying to understand the working of a particular society. To understand how power is exercised, the author recommends that anthropologists study all levels of society including those previously not studied. The main argument is that it is important for the people to understand who shapes attitudes and who controls institutional structures and this can be done through the ‘studying up’ approach. The essay also includes reasons why this approach should be adopted by anthropologists. The author points out what might happen if anthropologists were to study the colonizers rather than the colonized, the culture of power rather than the culture of the powerless and the culture of affluence rather than the culture of poverty. By investigating how the powerful urban society works it is possible to understand how this might have a corresponding effect on the other groups of people at the society. The consequences of not studying up as well as down are also discussed.

Ethical problems that arise while applying the ‘studying up’ approach are mentioned. There often arises confusion when studying one’s own society; the author here asks whether there is one different ethic for studying up and another one for studying down. The ethics that should be applied while studying the public, the private and foreign cultures are discussed in detail.