Foucault and Research Ethics: On the autonomy of the researcher

Hammersley, Martyn and Traianou, Anna. 2014. Foucault and Research Ethics: On the autonomy of the researcher. Qualitative Inquiry, 20(3), pp. 227-238. ISSN 1077-8004 [Article]

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This article uses the later writings of Foucault as a means of reflecting on research ethics, and in particular on the notion of researcher autonomy. It is suggested that such autonomy is a precondition for ethical practice, and also for sound research, and it is noted that it is under threat today, not least from creeping ethical regulation. Foucault’s philosophical position is outlined, noting the shift that took place in his later writings. There have been only a few attempts to use his ideas in thinking about research ethics, but we examine how they have been applied in relation to the ethics of anthropology. This is followed by a discussion of some widely recognized, and quite serious, problems with Foucault’s position. Finally, a number of positive and negative lessons that can be learned from his work are presented

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7 March 2013Accepted
29 January 2014Published Online
1 March 2014Published

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09 Dec 2016 12:24

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01 Jul 2020 09:16

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