Extended Research Ethics in Qualitative Interviewing

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 15:45
Location: Hörsaal 47 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Herwig REITER, German Youth Institute - DJI, Germany
By researching experiences and meanings within life-worlds qualitative interviewing constitutes close relationships between researchers and participants. Ethics guidelines and codes of practice suggest ways of protecting participants from harm resulting from the intensity of such relationships. The general safety of qualitative researchers is considered in some ethics guidelines; yet the confrontation of researchers with emotionally difficult situations and their processing is hardly problematised. Against this background the contribution first discusses key aspects of the kinship regarding theory and practice of qualitative interviewing on the one hand and techniques of counselling and therapy on the other. While counselling is usually embedded in structures of professional supervision, qualitative interviewing is not, although researchers are exposed to similar risks; these risks are discussed in a second step. Finally, strategies of dealing with emotionally demanding research experiences are suggested in the frame of an extended understanding of research ethics. They are based on a pilot project involving external supervision throughout the process of a qualitative study interviewing young people.