Making methods sociable: dialogue, ethics and authorship in qualitative research

Sinha, Shamser and Back, Les. 2014. Making methods sociable: dialogue, ethics and authorship in qualitative research. Qualitative Research, 14(4), pp. 473-487. ISSN 1468-7941 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The article argues for fostering sociable forms of dialogue in qualitative research. Conventional research shares an emphasis on extracting narratives with judicial and invasive state modes of enquiry rather than on learning from a genuine two-way dialogue between participants and researchers. Using a study of young migrants, we show how involving participants as observers and shapers of analytical dialogue can produce circulations of communication oscillating across the researcher’s and participant’s horizons of understanding. This produces new insight, beyond the limits of qualitative investigation, that extracts information from participants, and in so doing, has the potential to affect shifts in perception that animate and enchant experience. It has consequences for rethinking authorship that share, credit and specify responsibility. Developing such an approach opposes the ‘ethical hypochondria’ characterising qualitative research culture, where ‘automatic anonymity’ is limiting the potential of research to travel, connect people and engage the public imagination.

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The research leading to the results received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme.


authorship, auto-ethnography, ethics, migration, participatory methods

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August 2014Published

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Date Deposited:

02 Sep 2014 10:21

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:09

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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