chapter  11
15 Pages

Transforming the Lens of Vulnerability

Human Agency as an Ethical Consideration in Research with Refugees
WithDavina Gateley Said

This chapter attempts to transform the lens of vulnerability by introducing ethical mechanisms that might be employed during qualitative research studies. Although the chapter focuses on refugees, they might also be applied to other groups participating in research studies. It proposes that the transforming the lens of vulnerability can be achieved by paying attention to iterative informed consent, reciprocity, issues of trust and 'mistrust' and, finally, through humanity. The chapter draws from the practical experience of a qualitative doctoral study conducted in London, UK, focusing on male and female refugees aged 18-29. Social science research studies aim to analyze social and political phenomena, and researchers generally position academic rigor at the forefront. Researchers are called upon to move beyond the simplistic assumptions about reactions to war and conflict, particularly surrounding trauma and vulnerability, instead taking a multifaceted approach.