Developing an ethics of relational responsibility – locating the researcher within the research and allowing connection, encounter and collective concern to shape the intercultural research space

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The choice to undertake a PhD is essentially the choice of an individual to complete an individual task that carries the name of the researcher as the cognitive authority and reinforces the place of their respective University within the western academy, with all of the structure of power and authority that comes along with that. But what happens when the research itself takes place in an intercultural space, and the rules and values of the academic space stand in contrast to the rules and values of the cultural space that is being inhabited? How does a PhD student fulfill their contract with the University while still embarking on morally responsible work with the research participants that has at its core existing relationships and a collective concern? How might an exploration of these issues open a window to new ways of doing research in culturally complex spaces? This article explores how one non-Indigenous PhD candidate working in an intercultural space with Indigenous research participants is unpacking and exploring these questions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-339
Number of pages11
JournalEthics and Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • education
  • ethics
  • Indigenous
  • intercultural
  • relationships
  • research

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