Why Ethics as Praxis?

The Ethics of Research: A Praxis for Engaged Scholars (forthcoming, SAGE publications) frames research as continually animated by the ethical rather than temporally bracketed at the start of a research project and the securing of consent, or at the finish upon the completion of data collection, analysis, interpretation, or even publication. We believe that the ethics of research exceeds any set of procedures or best practices checklist and any effort to wholly qualify a research project as “ethical” because the ethical permeates the practices of knowledge production and must be taken up iteratively at the quotidian level of relationships as well as the theoretical level of representations.

We urge engaged scholars take up ethics as a praxis that begins by getting situated in the social context and histories that inform their work, and by embracing the interconnections of their relationships, research and otherwise. Positioning oneself in place and time, in relation to other human and non-human beings, opens up critical ethical perspectives on the research questions we ask and the knowledge we aim to produce.

We approach ethicality not as a fixed destination, a state of certainty, nor a position of moral righteousness, but rather as a mode of action and being, an embodied process taken up within communities and communities of practice. We urge engaged scholars to embrace the complexities and uncertainties of ethicality as ways to deepen practices of responsibility and accountability in their research.

We explore how the ethical animates the where and when (place and time), who (relationality), what (knowledge), and the why and how (purpose and practice) of their work.

We offer frameworks, cases, and question sets to build the readers’ capacities to sustain attentive ethical engagements as they move in and through their research and collaborations.