Chapter 5: Ethics and feminist research
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This chapter discusses feminist research ethics and its preoccupation with power dynamics in the production and application of knowledge. Feminists raise ethical concerns with objectivity as a moral, epistemic, and methodological ideal. They argue that objectivity conceals the non-innocent nature of knowledge and knowledge production; perpetuates gendered and intersectional inequalities; and represents a form of epistemic and moral detachment. Feminists propose alternative approaches to research ethics. First, they challenge procedural ethics and advocate for contextual, situated and practice-based approaches to ethics informed by an ‘ethic of care’. Second, they argue for ‘situated knowledge’ and its distinctive ethical practices of reflexivity, diffraction and ecological thinking. Third, they promote key methodological principles as forms of ethical practice: listening to marginalised voices, recognising power dynamics in research relationships, and using research to create social change. Insistence on the inseparability of ethics, ontology, epistemology and methodology characterizes the distinctive nature of feminist research ethics.

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