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An Autoethnographic Reflection of the Ethics of Autoethnography: A PhD by Practice

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paper

Publication date26/06/2017
<mark>Original language</mark>English
Event2017: PhD Conference - Lancaster University , Lancaster, United Kingdom
Duration: 26/06/201727/06/2017


Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


Title: An autoethnographic reflection of the ethics of autoethnography
This presentation is an autoethnographic reflection of my (the researcher’s) journey toward ethical approval for a PhD by Practice in Social Work. A significant number of ethical issues emerged during the approval process, and whilst many of these were predicted, others were unforeseen and difficult to acknowledge and address. The presentation will expose my ethical dilemmas and challenge the simplistic application of ethics to autoethnographic research.
The research: ‘Can autoethnography improve safeguarding adult social work practice?’ uses autoethnograpy to access insider knowledge. This is conceptualised as three inter-connected strands: 1) personal insider knowledge; 2 professional insider knowledge; and 3) service user insider knowledge.
I, as the researcher benefit from a unique standpoint position, as I have personal insider knowledge of requiring safeguarding, as well as professional knowledge of safeguarding others. In this context, safeguarding is defined as seeking to prevent abuse and neglect and stopping it quickly when it happens.
My autoethnography foregrounds the power of direct stories to critique safeguarding adult cultural beliefs and practices. This is complemented by the act of collaborative witnessing, during which the interviewees and I share personal and or professional experiences in the context of our relationship, and connect these to the broader culture. Collectively these techniques will establish robust autoethnographic data, to be combined with an associated practice portfolio and accompanying thesis.