P04
The ethics of (relations of) knowledge-creation

Convenors:
Lisette Josephides (Queen's University Belfast)
Anne Sigfrid Grønseth (Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer)
Discussant:
Marilyn Strathern, Tammy Kohn
Location:
Lecture Theatre LT5
Start time:
15 April, 2010 at 9:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

The ethical concerns of the interview as an interaction with others in the process of knowledge creation will be addressed from three perspectives: (i) the intimate relationship established between ethnographer and researcher; (ii) the mode of transmuting local knowledge into universal knowledge (iii) the monitoring of knowledge-creation itself.

Long abstract:

The Interview is saturated with ethical concerns. It sets up an interactive structure with an 'other' in a context of unstated epistemological foundations and submerged interests. Though the interviewer appears to have more to gain, and more control over the perimeters of the exchange and the knowledge to be transacted, ethnographers have found this control to be illusory. This panel will address the ethics of knowing and the ethics of knowledge, with the interview as its centrepiece. 'Interview' is understood to incorporate directed conversations for the purposes of eliciting knowledge in the process of a research project, as well as interactions (information sessions or participant observation) in which studied people are asked to give something for the sake of knowledge - their blood, their land, their knowledge. We are interested in papers which address the following questions: i. The ethical implications of relationships between researcher and informant created in the process of being together while 'transacting knowledge'. Relevant distinctions which affect the kinds of knowledge and meaning accessed and produced include those between: subjectivity and objectivity, empathy and imagination, friendship and information, intimacy and distance. ii. The ethics of transmuting local bodies and local knowledge into 'universal knowledge'. To what extent can this knowledge betray its ideals and its origin? What, then, is knowledge obtained in exchanges with others for? iii. The monitoring of knowledge-creation from an ethical perspective, a monitoring itself conducted on the basis of 'interviews' with knowledge-consumers. Does it create another stratum of alienation, eliticization, abstraction and reified knowledge?