Ethical Quandary of Discourse Analyst Interviewing

Martyn Hammersley, never one to shy from instigating hard looks at methodology for qualitative researchers, has recently called into ethical question the research practice of conducting discourse analysis on interviews as a kind of bait-and-switch contrary to the priority of informed consent.  Qualitative Research provided a couple of responses from Stephanie Taylor and Robin Smith that encapsulate the responses that come to mind immediately to me–and more.  Yet Hammersley’s charges nag at me, because they articulate hesitations that have bothered me in my few, immature attempts at discourse analytic research.  

As an example, even as Ben Rampton talks about opening up the tools of discourse analysis to those educational practitioners under study, in a manner that might mitigate some of those ethical concerns, he is uncharacteristically limited in vision, from my point of view.  As an analyst, I think we have some hard thinking to do.

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