Ethical and Friendly Researchers, but not Insiders: A Response to Blodgett, Boyer, and Turk
This commentary is a response to the article by Lisa J. BLODGETT, Wanda BOYER, and Emily TURK (2005) in this issue of FQS. The original article describes ethical challenges and relational issues within a large, ongoing, qualitative study about the development of self-regulation in early childhood. Those authors focus in particular upon: (a) obtaining free and informed consent, (b) working with vulnerable populations, and (c) balancing insider and outsider roles. I identify some key strengths of the research that may provide useful models for other researchers, while cautioning against the evident overgeneralization of the term "insider." BLODGETT et al. clearly demonstrate that they are ethical and friendly researchers, but they are not insiders in the daycare settings where their research takes place. I conclude with a call for researchers to seriously consider and empirically document what it might mean to adopt a subject-centered perspective on research ethics.
research ethics; researcher-participant relationships; insider-outsider roles; subject-centered perspective