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Subverting Perceptions of Vulnerability in Empirical Research

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‘Fuck you and fuck your fucking thesis’: Subverting Perceptions of Vulnerability in Empirical Research

Research ethics frameworks require researchers to identify and assess the “vulnerability” of research participants. Too often, this process is accompanied by a lack of scrutiny of what is meant by “vulnerable”, and the connotations of passivity and powerlessness that this term can evoke. In this session, we explore two radical re-interpretations of what it means to be vulnerable in the context of empirical research, both as a research participant and as a researcher.

Readings:

Tagonist, Anne. 2009. Fuck you and fuck your fucking thesis: why I will not participate in trans studies. [Online]. Available at: https://tagonist.livejournal.com/199563.html Behar, Ruth. 1996. ‘The Vulnerable Observer’ in The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology that Breaks Your Heart. Beacon Press: Boston.

This talk is part of the Critical Approaches to ‘Vulnerability’ in Empirical Research (CAVER) [2019-20] series.

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