"So the World Will Know Our Story": Ethical Reflections on Research with Families Displaced by War

Bree Akesson, David A. "Tony" Hoffman, Samia El Joueidi, Dena Badawi


In this article we examine the ethical implications of a qualitative research study exploring the everyday mobilities of Syrian families displaced in Lebanon. The multiple methods of data collection—collaborative family interviews, children's drawing and mapmaking, GIS-tracked neighborhood walks, and activity logging—encouraged children and family voices. At the same time, these methods provide an opportunity to explore family networks, relationships, and environments that are impacting their lives in the context of war and displacement. These methods, like all research with vulnerable populations, also raise several ethical questions. Using a process of ethical reflexivity, we discuss six ethical points related to both procedural and micro-ethics. In addition to shedding light on the importance of uncovering the everyday experiences of refugees using creative methods, we suggest broader ethical implications regarding how we respectfully work with vulnerable populations while still upholding research integrity.


confidentiality; displaced populations; ethics; families; forced migration; mixed methods research; qualitative research; refugees; war

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-19.3.3087

Copyright (c) 2018 Bree Akesson, David A. "Tony" Hoffman, Samia El Joueidi, Dena Badawi

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