chapter  3
17 Pages

Ethical and Methodological Considerations

All research with young people involves negotiating an often complex

series of ethical and methodological issues. Mark Cieslik notes that

there is ‘a range of moral and ethical issues confronting individuals

who investigate the lives of often vulnerable young people who lack

resources, social networks and knowledgeability of those conducting

the research’ and so researchers need to ‘tread carefully and bear in

mind how their work may be represented by the media, and how this

in turn may impact on the lives of young people themselves’ (Cieslik

2003: 1-2). Virginia Morrow (2008: 51) states that ‘ethics’ can be

defined as a ‘set of principles and rules of conduct’: ethics in research

relates to ‘the application of a system of moral principles to prevent

harming or wronging another, to promote the good, to be respectful,

and to be fair’. Moreover, Hugh Matthews (2001: 117) argues that

‘ethics is about power – what is recognised as ethical depends on

values, moral judgements, perceived goals and intended outcomes.’