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In support of situated ethics: ways of building trust with stigmatised ‘waste pickers’ in Cape Town

In support of situated ethics: ways of building trust with stigmatised ‘waste pickers’ in Cape Town To a large extent, conformity to rigid principles continues to constrain a more situated approach to research ethics. Although this means deception is seen as something that should be avoided at all costs, I found that covert aspects of my ethnographic study enabled me to minimise the inequality between researcher and research participants. This article explores my use of situated ethics in interactions with street ‘waste pickers’ during fieldwork in Cape Town using participant observation. I opted to wear a hidden recorder and obtain selective consent, which I argue was more appropriate than relying solely on a fieldnote journal or obtaining signatures on a written consent form. These methods enabled me to communicate respect and build trust. The implication is that a contextualised approach to ethical procedures can be better suited to sensitive research topics, with marginalised social groups, where there is extreme inequality between researchers and their research participants. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Qualitative Research SAGE

In support of situated ethics: ways of building trust with stigmatised ‘waste pickers’ in Cape Town

Qualitative Research , Volume 19 (2): 16 – Apr 1, 2019

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References (60)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2017
ISSN
1468-7941
eISSN
1741-3109
DOI
10.1177/1468794117746553
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

To a large extent, conformity to rigid principles continues to constrain a more situated approach to research ethics. Although this means deception is seen as something that should be avoided at all costs, I found that covert aspects of my ethnographic study enabled me to minimise the inequality between researcher and research participants. This article explores my use of situated ethics in interactions with street ‘waste pickers’ during fieldwork in Cape Town using participant observation. I opted to wear a hidden recorder and obtain selective consent, which I argue was more appropriate than relying solely on a fieldnote journal or obtaining signatures on a written consent form. These methods enabled me to communicate respect and build trust. The implication is that a contextualised approach to ethical procedures can be better suited to sensitive research topics, with marginalised social groups, where there is extreme inequality between researchers and their research participants.

Journal

Qualitative ResearchSAGE

Published: Apr 1, 2019

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