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Researchers and their 'subjects'Ethics, power, knowledge and consent$
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Marie Smyth and Catherine Bond

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781861345141

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861345141.001.0001

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date: 18 August 2017

Speaking truth to power: experiencing critical research

Speaking truth to power: experiencing critical research

Chapter:
(p.175) Ten Speaking truth to power: experiencing critical research
Source:
Researchers and their 'subjects'
Author(s):

Phil Scraton

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861345141.003.0011

This chapter asserts the centrality of the relationship between the ‘researcher’ and the ‘researched’ in the context of conducting a critical research on the use and abuse of power in state institutions. The chapter begins by discussing the criticism ‘from below’, that mainstream social sciences' research has been implicated in maintaining the status quo, misrepresenting the experiences and lives of people marginalised and excluded by structural inequalities. The chapter traces the theoretical foundations of critical research and its potential for creating alternative accounts of those embodied in official discourse. It reflects on the process of researching the experiences of the bereaved in seeking truth and acknowledgement. It also demonstrates how a critical approach can secure participation, collaboration and integration of research ‘subjects’ — people — in the development of an inclusive research process. Finally, the chapter considers the methods of research, the responsibilities and ethical dilemmas faced by researchers and the challenges to the powerful that together comprise the process of critical research.

Keywords:   relationship, researcher, researched, critical research, abuse of power, use of power, social science, process of researching, participation, collaboration

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