Staying Native: Conspiracy, Compromise or Collaboration?

  • Robyn Barry
Keywords: Ethics. Collaborative. Practitioner Research. Gerontology. Naturalism. Intersubjectivity


How can one ethically conduct research in a setting where the researcher holds roles and membership in the researched community? Coming from an ethical culture of non-academic professional practice, I see my dual position as researcher and practitioner as less of a challenge than the defense of this duality within an academic setting.  In this paper, I outline my position in the research, one that privileges a practitioner role over a researcher role.  I argue that this position can minimise the risk of research related power imbalances and conflicts of interests. I discuss the tensions and relationships between my practitioner and researcher roles and include motivations for occupying these roles. Examples of how the roles are enacted in practice are provided. This paper investigates the ethics of intersubjectivity, making the case that a community based social science research perspective is attainable and viable.