Gender Ethics and Empowerment:The Dilemmas of Development Fieldwork
For students and academics involved with development studies, fieldwork is often a critical aspect of the research process. This process, however, can give rise to a plethora of ethical dilemmas relating to power gradients between the researcher and the researched. Combined with this are complex issues of knowledge generation, ownership and exploitation. The sensitivity of these issues may be intensified when involving women as research participants. Ethical issues regarding the validity and effectiveness of cross-cultural and cross-gendered fieldwork in Third World contexts are explored in this article, with examples drawn from recent research practice. Following this review is a critical discussion concerning whether there is potential for the fieldwork process to be empowering for research participants.
Women's Studies International Forum