Breaching Internal Confidentiality in Biographical Research

Thursday, 19 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Gul OZYEGIN, College of William and Mary, USA
The violation of internal confidentiality is a pervasive and troubling ethical and epistemological problem. Confidentiality is a key ethical principle in the American Sociological Association Code of Ethics. However, it fails to address the potential harm from internal confidentiality. How do we expand the principle of confidentiality to avoid risks to insiders from other insiders? How do researchers protect privacy without harming integrity of research and writing? I highlight theoretical and practical aspects of internal confidentiality in relation to my biographical research on different generations of Turks in Germany. I seek to engender discussion of particular strenghts and weaknesses of potential institutional and individual solutions at different stages of doing biographical research: conceptualization, consent, interview, analysis and writing.