Methodological and Ethical Challenges in Qualitative Research Projects

Workshop, May 10–11, 2016


Prof. Dr. Dorothea Lüddeckens and Nina Rageth


URPP Asia and Europe


Tuesday, May 10: University of Zurich, Room RAA E-29, Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zurich
Wednesday, May 11: University of Zurich, Main Building, Room KOL G-217, Rämistrasse 71, 8001 Zurich

Workshop outline

The workshop intends to provide a platform for discussing, reflecting on and analyzing challenges stemming from the researcher’s encounter with the field while pursuing her/his research, writing, and publication preparation. We want to deal with methodological challenges (e.g. closeness/distance to the field, establishing trust, getting access, recording data, censorship issues, expectations from individuals towards the researcher and the outcome of the research) as well as with ethical challenges (e.g. granting anonymity, consequences for individuals and locations being studied, impact of scholarly work on the field, power structures, reciprocity).

Aim of the workshop

Every researcher faces fieldwork challenges in a distinct way depending on the contextual conditions of the research project. The workshop aims at finding ways of dealing with these challenges in the different stages of a research project. Furthermore, it aims at framing these challenges analytically in order to translate problems which arise in single research projects into more general problems that often arise in empirical research projects.

Structure of the workshop

The major components of the workshop are short presentations (15-20 min) from doctoral students and postdocs pertaining to the challenges sketched out above and subsequent discussions with the workshop participants. We will have two guest scholars (Dr. Elisabeth Arweck, University of Warwick and Dr. Marta Trzebiatowska, University of Aberdeen) who are experienced in qualitative research and who have an analytic interest in challenges resulting from empirical research projects. Along with giving a short lecture, they will provide recommendations and comments based on their own experience and share their insights with participants. Additionally, Dr. Aymon Kreil (University of Zurich) will give a presentation reflecting on power-structures between the researcher and the researched.