Ethnomusicology, Anthropology and Ethics: A practical, applied and philosophical perspective

Swijghuisen Reigersberg, Muriel Elsbeth. 2015. 'Ethnomusicology, Anthropology and Ethics: A practical, applied and philosophical perspective'. In: Joint Forum of the SEM-ICTM in Limerick, 13th-16th of September 2015. Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick, Ireland 13-16th September 2015. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

This paper will explore how recent developments in the higher education sector in the UK have meant that researchers and institutions are required to become more rigorous in the ways in which they evidence ethical research conduct and how this may or may not conflict with the ethical dilemmas with which researchers are faced whilst conducting research. It will also show how, with the introduction of open access mandates in the UK research integrity has had to broaden its scope to include rigorous and informed approaches to research data management, data protection and freedom of information requests.
I will explore this topic from two angles simultaneously: that of an ethnomusicologist having conducted fieldwork in Indigenous Australia with vulnerable population groups such as children, those with mental illness and alcohol misuse issues and that of a University research administrator, working at a Higher Education Institution in charge of helping to implement the Research Integrity Concordat. During my paper I will highlight some of the common points of contention that I have come across and how these might be constructively engaged with by both research ethics and integrity committees and ethnomusicologists alike.
Basing my arguments on the anthropology of law I will demonstrate that some of the legalistic aspects of research integrity and ethical clearance should to be context and culturally specific, but are often not within the HEI sector, which bases its compliance forms on scientific models of research and Western codes of conduct. I will posit that with the increased emphasis on interdisciplinarity HEIs would also do well to adjust their ethical codes of conduct to reflect this. Lastly, and controversially perhaps, I will suggest that the legalistic aspects of research integrity clearance are perhaps closer to the philosophy of ethics than some researchers might suspect.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Ethnomusicology, Anthropology, Ethics: Applied, Philosophical, BFE, SEM, ICTM, Society for Ethnomusicology, British Forum Ethnomusicology, International Council Traditional Music

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Research Office


13 September 2015["eprint_fieldopt_dates_date_type_shown" not defined]

Event Location:

Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick, Ireland

Date range:

13-16th September 2015

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

29 Sep 2015 08:26

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:12


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