The politics and ethics of naming: questioning anonymisation in (archival) research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Anonymity is often taken-for-granted as an ethical necessity. Discussions around reuse of qualitative data have added further weight to its importance for protecting research participants from unknown future use of data. Yet, anonymisation also compromises the possibilities of future reuse. This paper argues that default anonymisation forecloses discussion of the ethics of naming; it calls for a reorientation of debate, away from an assumption of the universal/ist ethical good of anonymity, towards a politics and ethics of the question of naming. Rather than a slide from an ethic of avoiding harm to a paternalistic notion of protection, I suggest that questions of naming in research, and avoidance of harm, could productively be approached through a feminist ethics of care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-340
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012

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