Ethics in the Field: Research Practice in Audio-Visual Studies

Maximilian Krug, Svenja Heuser

Abstract


Audio-visual recording of human interaction constitutes the empirical foundations of research in many social science disciplines. The cooperation and interactive coordination of participants is at the center of qualitative analyses and is often recorded simultaneously by several video cameras. But little ethical reflection has occurred about how this data was recorded, which prearrangements were necessary, how the researchers discharge their tasks of supervision and responsibility towards the participants and which sources of stress voluntary participants face. An increasingly central role in the study designs of interaction and communication research is mobile eye tracking. This technology provides the researchers with more insight into human gaze behavior; but participants often perceive it invasive and painful. With respect to the current discussion about research ethics in the qualitative social sciences, we reconstruct various situations within research studies with participants wearing mobile eye tracking-glasses regarding the ethical conduct of researchers and participants. In the center of our ethical reflection is the question how researchers process in situ their responsibilities for participants with respect to the degree of invasiveness and voluntariness of research studies.


Keywords


research ethics; conversation analysis; audio-visual data; multimodality; eye tracking



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-19.3.3103

Copyright (c) 2018 Maximilian Krug, Svenja Heuser

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