Engaging Ethics in Postcritical Ethnography: Troubling Transparency, Trustworthiness, and Advocacy

Jessica Nina Lester, Allison Daniel Anders


In this article, we engage with some of the ethical challenges we faced during a four-year postcritical ethnography that focused on the resettlement experiences of Burundians with refugee status living in southern Appalachia in the United States.We discuss how we navigated decisions about what and how to share all that we learned, particularly as we sought to protect and honor what participants shared and experienced. Broadly, we frame our decision-making process in relation to the notions of ethics in practice and relational ethics. Notably, we complicate commitments to transparency, trustworthiness, and advocacy, as we examine issues of responsibility and representation. We conclude by offering three considerations or "lessons learned" for qualitative researchers, including the: 1. value of generating a layered account of experience; 2. potentiality of experimental forms of writing, and 3. importance of foregrounding relational ethics.


advocacy; ethics; ethics in practice; postcritical ethnography; relational ethics; transparency; trustworthiness

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-19.3.3060

Copyright (c) 2018 Jessica Nina Lester

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