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Online lecture: „Ethics of mobile media fieldwork“ with Erika Polson

26. Juni 2020, 14:00 - 16:00

In this talk, Erika Polson will discuss the ethical obligations that guide the immersed participant-observation role in ethnographic fieldwork on media-related topics. Although different countries and institutions have their own ethical review processes (e.g. the Institutional Review Boards in the US) that determine guidelines to be followed in designing and carrying out academic research, Polson explores the more subtle, individual and lived ways in which ethical issues appear and must be negotiated in the field. A continuing commitment to participants, transparency, respect, and understanding of where vulnerabilities may lie can all lead to forms of ethical immersion that can further research rather than stifling it. In advance of this lecture, the speaker recommends reading two articles. The first (Jun, Li. 2008. Ethical Challenges in Participant Observation: A Reflection on Ethnographic Fieldwork. Qualitative Report, 13, 1: 100-115.) recounts ethical challenges in an ethnography of female gamblers. The second (Polson, Erika. 2011. Belonging to the Network Society: Social Media and the Production of a New Global Middle Class, Communication, Culture & Critique 4: 144–163) is from Polson’s ethnography of expatriates in Paris and thinks through ethical approaches to „studying up“, considering how vulnerabilities might still be discovered and respected.


26. Juni 2020
14:00 - 16:00