Ethics, reflexivity, and "Ethically important moments" in research

  • Guillemin M
  • Gillam L
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Abstract

Ethical tensions are part of the everyday practice of doing research—all kinds of research. Howdo researchers deal with ethical problems that arise in the practice of their research, and are there conceptual frameworks that they can draw on to assist them? This article examines the relationship between reflexivity and research ethics. It focuses on what con- stitutes ethical research practice in qualitative research andhowresearchers achieve ethi- cal research practice. As a framework for thinking through these issues, the authors dis- tinguish two different dimensions of ethics in research, which they term procedural ethics and “ethics in practice.” The relationship between them and the impact that each has on the actual doing of research are examined. The article then draws on the notion of reflexivity as a helpful way of understanding both the nature of ethics in qualitative research and how ethical practice in research can be achieved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Reflexivity
  • Research ethics
  • Research practice

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Authors

  • Marilys Guillemin

  • Lynn Gillam

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