Ethical and Methodological Challenges in Field Research

Third-cycle level | 7.5 credits | Course code: SFGS302
VT 2020
Study period: 2020-03-30 - 2020-04-30
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION: The course is given in English
Application period: 2020-01-01 - 2020-02-29
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VT 2021
Study period: 2021-04-06 - 2021-05-07
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION: The course is given in English
Application period: 2020-12-18 - 2021-03-08
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VT 2022
Study period: 2022-04-04 - 2022-05-12
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION: The course is given in English
Application period: 2022-01-31 - 2022-03-04
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Course description

The course addresses ethical and methodological challenges encountered by researchers doing fieldwork in various contexts in both the global South and the global North. It reflects on a range of problems a researcher encounters through the research process – from planning to data collection/production, analysis and dissemination of results. These include the challenge of navigating unequal power relations between researcher and “researched”, the role and position of research assistants, interpreters and gatekeepers, conducting research in insecure and difficult environments, approaching elite interviewees, and engaging in necessary but not excessive self-reflection. Ethical challenges are discussed in relation to concrete methods of collecting/producing data – mainly through interviews and ethnographic methods – as well as in relation to research more broadly. The students will develop and argue for the methodological design of their thesis project – focusing on data-collection and access to research contacts and interviewees – and discuss the main ethical challenges linked to their research and methodological choices.

Target group

This course is compulsary for PhD students in Peace and Development Research at the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg. The course is also open for students enrolled in a PhD program in Peace and Development Research, Environmental Social Science or other relevant fields of study at other departments and universities.

Requirements and Selection

Entry requirements

The course is open for students enrolled in a PhD program in Peace and Development Research, Environmental Social Science or other relevant fields of study, or equivalent.

Selection

PhD students at the School of Global Studies will be given priority. Other applicants will be assessed and admitted based on the relevance of their PhD project.

Other information

In view of pandemic, it is anticipated that the course will take a hybrid character, with on-campus sessions as needed and to the extent possible, but with a possibility to participate remotely if so required. If coming to campus is a problem for you, you will be able to complete this course remotely.

Teaching is done through a sequence of interactive sessions - lectures, seminars, student-run exchanges - and included one final written assignment. The course this year will also include discussions about the implications of the corona pandemic (and resulting restrictions) and resulting methodological and ethical issues.

 

Course syllabus

SFGS302

Department

School of Global Studies

Subject

Social Science

Type of course

Ethics course, Method course

Keywords

methods, research ethics, metod, forskningsetik, datainsamling, data collection

CONTACTBart Klem

bart.klem@gu.se