Toward Epistemological Ethics: Centering Communities and Social Justice in Qualitative Research

Monique Antoinette Guishard, Alexis Halkovic, Anne Galletta, Peiwei Li


As qualitative researchers based in the United States, we theorize and ground ethical issues within our work as inherent to the continuum of methods, epistemologies, and research relationships. Through collective and transgressive reflexivity, we write as members of the Society for Qualitative Research in Psychology (SQIP) Ethics Task Force, re-imagining the American Psychological Association's (APA) Ethics Code as a resource that is inclusive of qualitative inquiry and responsive to the "evidence based" quandaries encountered in our praxis. In this article, we name the gaps in the Code that are incommensurate with social justice oriented qualitative research and shake the epistemological ground of the Code from bottom-up. We interweave our vision for a new ethics Code that foregrounds the intersubjective and reflexive nature of knowledge production, preserves dignity, attends to power relations within and outside of the research endeavor, critiques relational and epistemic distance, and explicates the internal connection between epistemology, validity, and ethics. In our writing we note disruption of normative ways of knowing and being within the academy and within qualitative research.


APA Ethics Code; community-based research; dignity; epistemology; ethic of reciprocity; hermeneutics of love; intersubjectivity; qualitative research ethics; reflexivity; USA

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Copyright (c) 2018 Monique Antoinette Guishard

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