Seminars

Ethics in qualitative research: the morality and politics of workplace fieldwork

4. 5. 2017
16:00, AKC, Husova 4a, Praha 1

Sociologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i., a katedra sociologie Institutu sociologických studií FSV UK si Vás dovolují pozvat na jarní cyklus Čtvrtečních sociologických seminářů.

This paper investigates ethics and moral issues in qualitative social science research. The widespread adoption of ethics codes and frameworks internationally has sparked debates about their constraining effects on qualitative research. The author first calls into question the theoretical assumptions of mainstream ethics on the basis of materialist scholarship. Case study research in ‘Transition’ countries is then employed to identify and reflect on moral challenges posed by workplace politics. Confronting an unethical world the researcher has to resort to stratagems which, in retrospect, appear to violate official ethics procedures. The paper asks whether an alternative approach can be identified without surrendering to mere instrumentalism. Cases of access negotiation, participant observation and interviews with managers and workers are then employed to illustrate the potential and limitations of this approach. An ‘ethics of truth’ is presented as an alternative tool in research practice founded on trust, loyalty and engagement with the emancipation struggles of researched subjects and their communities.

 

Claudio Morrison is Senior Research Fellow at Middlesex University Business School in London. He previously held a British Academy Post-doctoral Fellowship at Warwick University, Sociology Department, where he had obtained his PhD. Claudio’s area of expertise is comparative employment relations. Since 1997, Claudio has carried out case study research and ethnographic fieldwork in the former Soviet Union. His current research focuses on migration, industrial relations and organisational change in post-socialist societies. He is the author of A Russian Factory Enters the Market Economy (Routledge, 2012). His publications featured, among others, in Europe-Asia Studies, Post-Communist Economies, the British Journal of Industrial Relations and Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Work Employment & Society and the Journal of Organizational Change Management. His current interests include national conflicts and the development of the labour movement in Russia and the FSU.