Loughborough Doctoral College

News and blog

13 Jan 2020

BSA Postgraduate Forum Event

Young People and “Sensitive” Research: A perfect ethical storm.
Wednesday 25th March 2019 – Birmingham City University
A one-day, inter-disciplinary postgraduate conference exploring the unique ethical and practical issues specifically associated with including young people in research on sensitive topics.
Anyone under the age of 18 is classified as “vulnerable” in research and ethics governance. When sensitive topics (such as sex, trauma experiences, and illegal practices) are added to the equation, researchers often find themselves contending with a “perfect ethical storm”. Within the Sociology of Children and Young People, the particularities and practicalities of ethical research with children receives relatively more attention than that with young people (YP) (e.g. teens, adolescents, those aged 10 to 24 by the World Health Organisation). Putting YP at the centre of the research that aims to improve their lives and experiences is essential. However, how to carry out participatory research methods with YP on taboo or emotive topics has not yet thoroughly been considered.
Therefore, this event aims to address the unique ethical and practical issues specifically associated with including YP in research on sensitive topics.
Key themes to be explored, include, but are not limited to:
  • working with adult gatekeepers that variously mitigate, support, and/or impede research with YP
  • exploring the ethical decisions unique to conducting research with YP (e.g. effectively safeguarding without compromising a participant’s right to have their voice heard), and
  • navigating participatory research techniques and approaches (from research design to collection and dissemination) with YP when conducting research on sensitive, taboo and or emotive topics.
Call for Papers:
We welcome proposals from PhD students and ECRs. Please send an abstract (200 words) along with a brief bio (100 words) to Andrea (Andrea.Anastassiou@mail.bcu.ac.uk) or Tamar (Tamara.Shiboleth@mail.bcu.ac.uk) by 10th of February 2020. We are open to receiving standard and non-traditional presentation/paper formats and workshops. The conference is planned for Wednesday 25th March, 2020, and will take place in the Curzon Building (C420, City Centre Campus), Birmingham City University.
If you are interested or have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Tamar or Andrea at the above addresses