Emotional Researchers, Ethical Sociologists: Methodological Reflections on Researching Internal Migrant Gay Men in Mainland China
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AbstractWhile research ethics can be regarded as the way in which researchers try to reduce the power differentials between the researchers and the researched, the protection/empowerment ethics in the mainstream positivist sociology and the sociology of gender and sexualities have oversimplified the power dynamics of the researcher-participant relationship on the one hand, and have failed to fully analyzed the epistemological and ethical significance of researchers’ emotions. Based on methodological reflections on my experiences of researching internal migrant gay men in mainland China, this paper aims to critically engage with the discussions of research ethics in sociological studies of gender and sexuality by uncovering the multifaceted power dynamics of the researcher-participant relationship based on which certain ethical rules, including those emotion-related, have gained their legitimacy, as well as by highlighting the constitutive role of researchers’ emotions, including the negative ones that have been denied in the existed literature such as depression, guilt, etc., in structuring the analysis and practicing as an ethical researcher. This research argues that in order to be an ethical sociologist, one need to recognize the complexity of the researcher-participant relationship, as well as to be, at least partly, an emotional researcher.
All Author(s) ListLUO Muyuan
Name of Conference5th Global Social Sciences Graduate Student Conference: Development and Polarization
Start Date of Conference21/04/2017
End Date of Conference21/04/2017
Place of ConferenceHong Kong
Country/Region of ConferenceHong Kong
Year2017
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2018-18-01 at 08:33