Research Ethics in Divided and Violent Societies: Seizing the Ethical Opportunity

Gladys Ganiel*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    This chapter explores how to conduct social research in divided and violent societies by developing the concept of the ‘ethical opportunity’. The ‘ethical opportunity’ is situated in a brief discussion of ‘action’ and feminist approaches to research. It argues that seizing the ethical opportunity requires researchers to: plan for their personal safety, plan for participants’ personal safety and plan how they will communicate and disseminate their results. It draws on the author’s personal experience researching in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Northern Ireland, concluding that it is in the communication and dissemination phase that researchers’ hopes for ‘making a difference’ may be realised or dashed. It cautions would-be researchers to manage their own – and research participants’ – expectations about what social research can achieve. Its effects may not often be as transforming and liberating as idealistic researchers hope for, but that should not dissuade them from striving towards those ends.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEthics for Graduate Researchers
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Print)9780124160491
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Qualitative Research, Fieldwork, Research Diaries

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Psychology(all)
    • Social Sciences(all)

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