About Level3
Search archives
- Current issue
- June 2007
- August 2006
- May 2005
- June 2004
- November 2003
DIT Home

Read postings about this article   |   Post a comment about this article  |  print this article [pdf]

Towards a model of critical ethics to inform the research process in postgraduate research


Author - Aidan Kenny


[<<previous] [ next>>]

Show/ hide article menu (click icons opposite)


1 Copies of the full records from ‘The Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law No. 10 October 1946–April 1949’, are contained in 15 volumes of court records. Electronic scanned versions of the original documents are available from The Library of Congress USA at http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/NTs_war-criminals.html.

2 The Final Solution was not the enactment of one order or policy but rather it emerged during the period of the Nazi regime. See http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/final.html for archival material.

3 Universal Declaration on Human Rights (1948) available online at http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html.

4 Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1949) available online at http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/Commun/QueVoulezVous.asp?NT=005&CL=ENG.

5 Helsinki Declaration (1964) available online at http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/helsinki.

6 Access to a vast amount of material relating to Ethics and Genetics, including policy tracking, international conventions and active debates is available at http://genome.wellcome.ac.uk/node30060.html.

7 The use of the typology here is taken from Grix (2004: 22) meaning a system of classification used to describe ‘empirical phenomena by fitting them into a set of categories’.

8 See Emanuel et al. (2006) who discuss the pros and cons of Research Ethics Boards being run by either voluntary committees or for-profit enterprises. This paper raises important points about the potential conflict of interests.

9 The language usage of ethical guidelines displays an ideological position in terms of the researcher and researched: here the term human ‘subject’ is used, suggesting that a positivist approach is being utilised, where there is an unequal power balance in favour of the researcher or expert who does knowledgeable things to the subject. Homan's chapter in McNamee (2002: 23–41) discusses this use of language, and suggests it is only in recent times that the researched have being termed ‘participants’ which suggests a more equitable and balanced power relationship.

10 See Seymer's chapter ‘Qualitative Versus Quantitative Research Design’ in McNamee (2002: 189–211) for a more extensive discussion of this topic.

11 This figure was obtained from the AERA website, under the heading ‘About the AERA’; see http://www.aera.net/AboutAERA/Default.aspx?menu_id=90&id=177.

12 This figure was obtained by telephoning BERA Head Office, Cheshire, UK, (Tel. 01625 504062) on 14 February 2008.

13 This figure was obtained from the EERA website; see http://eera.educ.umu.se/web/eng/all/members/current/index.html.

14 This data is a small ‘snowball’ sampling of URL links, a web search carried out on the 15 February 2008. ERA websites were opened and their establishment date sought. In some cases the websites would not open and in others navigation was problematic due to my deficiency in other languages, thus the sample set is not intended to be definitive but rather as an example of growth trends.

15 For the full listing of HEIs that receive Irish Government funding administered through the Higher Education Authority see http://www.heanet.ie/about/members.html.

16 This can also be related to the discourse on ‘knowledge power’, politics and power, expert power. See Guba and Lincoln (1989: 117–142) for an interesting contribution to the ethics and politics debate.

17 The commissioning and funding of research projects is not value free. Funders have specific requirements or intentions for their involvement. Nixon’s paper ‘What is Evaluation After the MSC?' in Burgess (2004: 160–171) introduces this idea and the politics of the research project. In evaluation research projects where sometimes difficult decisions have to be made based on the research findings, researchers need to be fully aware of their remit and the potential outcomes.

18 Ownership here does not only relate to the findings of the research but the whole research process: issues such as intellectual property, and concerns about the use and in some cases the non-use of the findings. Researchers should consider joining an appropriate representative association and seek its professional advice before entering into contractual agreements. New/students researchers should always get external advice on contracts before they agree to sign, particularly if there is a potential commercial outcome to their research.

19 For a national policy perspective see the Irish Government Publication (2006: 34–37). For a theoretical perspective see Gibbons et al. (2005: 46–69).

20 See the World Trade Organisation (WTO) website for the top 10 criticisms of the WTO's approach to intellectual property and its responses (http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/minist_e/min99_e/english/misinf_e/05killin_e.htm).

21 The use of the word ‘model’ is linked to Grix (2004: 20–21). A model is a way of representing something; it can be used as ‘a descriptive or explanatory device’, and is a useful mechanism to visualise abstractions, concepts and interrelationships.

22 This research focuses on the Irish Higher Education sector, and adopts both numeric and non-numeric conceptual approaches, supported by mixed method instruments.

23 For more information on contemporary critical theory see Morrow and Brown (1994: 3–30).

24 The term ‘official knowledge’ comes from Apple (2000: 1–15) and the concept here of regulating official knowledge from Apple (2000: 61–89).

25 I am in the 3rd year of the D.Ed. programme in TCD. The title of my dissertation is 'The Dynamics of Human Capital and the Labour Process in Higher Education, Power, Compliance and Resistance: A Critical Theory Perspective'.

26 See McNamee (2002: 23–41).

27 Wisker (2005: 117–118) provides some examples of where the subjects of applied research are suspicious of the researchers. In some cases the researchers were viewed as government spies.

[<<previous] [ next>>]


copyright   |   disclaimer   |   terms