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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2020

Sophie Samyn, Sarah Adeyinka, Sami Zemni and Ilse Derluyn

This study aims to explore and discuss the ethical challenges that the authors encountered in the SWIPSER project, a study about the well-being of West-African women who work in…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore and discuss the ethical challenges that the authors encountered in the SWIPSER project, a study about the well-being of West-African women who work in the red-light district in Brussels.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was commissioned by the municipality of Schaerbeek and executed by a Nigerian–Belgian research team. Data were collected using a multi-method qualitative approach, predominantly through ethnographic fieldwork that consisted of detailed observations, informal interviews (with 38 participants), complemented by document analysis and stakeholder interviews.

Findings

The study presents the main ethical dilemmas in four themes: (1) representing diversity, i.e. how do we get access to all members of a migrant community that is inherently hierarchical?; (2) in the margin, i.e. how can we conduct research with undocumented migrants and what do we do when faced with violence and injustice?; (3) attraction and repulsion, i.e. what ethical consequences are involved when working in a multi-ethnic research team?; and (4) unveiling secrets, i.e. which ethical challenges are we faced with when presenting the results of research on vulnerable migrant communities?

Originality/value

This study goes beyond procedural research ethics and highlights the specific relational ethics (related to the relation between research(er) and participant) and the socio-political ethics (related to the relation between the research(er) and the socio-political context) involved in qualitative research with female migrants who work in prostitution.

Article
Publication date: 18 August 2020

Ricard Zapata-Barrero and Evren Yalaz

101

Abstract

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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