Ethics and psychological research: a situated ethics entangling the comprehensive research apparatus

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Human subjects and social relations are crucial in research psychologists’ ethical considerations. Lists of ethical criteria - including how to anonymize data, avoid causing harm, handle asymmetries – are pivotal. A situated ethics inspired by new materialism and poststructuralism would, however, elaborate these focuses to include social orders, discursive power, and more comprehensive material-discursive apparatuses. I will draw on concepts developed by Barad, Foucault and Butler to discuss how ethics can be understood as an intra-acting, emergent element of the research apparatus.
Barad’s notion of intra-activity emphasizes that distinct material and discursive, human and non-human agencies do not precede, but rather emerge through their intra-action. Thus, humans are responsible for the ways in which we enter this intra-action and the effects we help enact. On one hand, this cancels out the researchers’ moral narcissism in relation to the enactment of social-subjective phenomena in research; on the other hand, it leaves researchers with a broader spectrum of phenomena to include in their ethical considerations.
This invites new questions: Which perspectives of human and non-human existence will be vitalized by which theoretical conceptualizations and methodologies; which social, material, discursive, power-distributing potentialities do we carry with us into the apparatuses that we enter/are of? What contemporary regimes of being, becoming, and belonging, and of social and subjective intelligibility, are enacted, reiterated, or troubled by means of our particular research engagement? With examples from studies in video gaming practices among children, I will discuss what implication this will have for children involved in research.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year21 Aug 2017
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2017
EventInternational Society for Theoretical Psychology, ISTP, Tokyo, 2017: 'The Ethos of Theorizing' - Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 21 Aug 201725 Aug 2017


ConferenceInternational Society for Theoretical Psychology, ISTP, Tokyo, 2017: 'The Ethos of Theorizing'

    Research areas

  • Psychology and ethic, Qualitative research, Situated ethic, Agential realism and ethic, Ethico-onto-epistemology

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