What Are Qualitative Research Ethics.

Author:Jackson, Damond
Position:Book review

What Are Qualitative Research Ethics by Rose Wiles (2013) Bloomsbury Academic. London. New York. ISBN. 978-1-84996-652-7

In her recent work, "What are qualitative research ethics?, Wiles addresses the novel and unique ethical dilemmas that arise when conducting research in the qualitative methodological research paradigm. There are multiple perspectives and questions regarding ethics in this discipline. Wiles poses the question that drives much of the dissent-what are research ethics? The answer is not linear and involves much complexity. Research ethics are dynamic and, as Wiles puts it, concern more than committee approval. Despite the inherent complexity of qualitative research ethics, Wiles creatively interweaves the academic/technical with the professional/practical and presents a well-developed argument for research ethics as a process of 'ethical literacy' instead of rules and regulations. It is the concept of ethical literacy that defines and situates qualitative research ethics in the larger discipline of research ethics. Wiles provides an introductory text that outlines frameworks for considering ethical issues as they arise during the course of qualitative research. She intends that her book would be a resource for students and researchers in the social sciences.

Wiles contends that ethical literacy is the crux of qualitative research ethics. It is this notion that informs qualitative methodology relative to determining the ethical parameters of research. It is important to note that ethical literacy is not the answer, but provides a pathway to possible answers or solutions?. Ethical literacy requires an evolving dialogue concerning the best way to ensure that research itself unfolds in an ethical manner. This continuous unfolding begins by seeing ethical research as more than Institutional Review Board approval for the protection of participants in research. Wiles contends that ethics should permeate every step of research. This perspective is necessary because Wiles contends that ethical issues can arise throughout the research process, particularly in qualitative research where sometimes the path is unclear until several participant interactions have been completed and data analyzed. Ethical literacy can therefore be viewed as an informed framework from which researchers make decisions relative to the ethics of their research process. This perspective includes fundamental principles that inform ethical frameworks in the design...

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