Accepted Paper:

Friendship as the relationship between researcher and researchee: ethical doubts  

Author:

Ewa Nowicka (Collegium Civitas)

Paper short abstract:

I am especially interested in the character of mutual relation between researcher and researchee; I would like to pay attention to one of the ways this relation can be shaped: the relation of friendship. The important question is the impact of such kind of relation on the research process.

Paper long abstract:

Contemporary anthropology pays a lot of attention to the various dimensions of research process. One of the most important changes introduced by so-called reflexive turn in anthropology was underlining the complexity of mutual relations between researcher and researchee. It occurred to be no longer possible to perceive the research process as just matter of collecting necessary data. Instead, the social research - and amongst them especially the anthropological research with traditionally important role of field-work became analyzed from the point of interaction between two parts involved in the process, namely researcher and researchee. I am especially interested in the character of mutual relation between them; I would like to pay attention to one of the ways this relation can be shaped: the relation of friendship.

The first important question is the impact of such kind of relation on the research process. From one point of view, involving in close emotional relation can help the researcher to "get close" to the researched reality: informations on researchee opinions and attitudes. From the other point, relation of friendship may cause many problems of various kinds- methodological, ethical and psychological. The ethical aspect of "using" friendship in anthropological research is my basic point of interest. I want to cope with the following questions:

- To which extent anthropologist is allowed to use data collected as friends of his/her researchee?

-How to distinguish between different roles in which the researcher is involved during a research with friendship relation - the role of a scientist and the role of a friend?

Panel IW04
Ethically sensitive researches in anthropology