Reflexivity, Positionality and Participatory Ethics: Negotiating Fieldwork Dilemmas in International Research

Farhana Sultana


There are critical disjunctures between aspects of everyday behaviour in the field and the University’s institutional frameworks that aim to guide/enforce good ethical practice, as the conduct of fieldwork is always contextual, relational, embodied, and politicized. This paper argues that it is important to pay greater attention to issues of reflexivity, positionality and power relations in the field in order to undertake ethical and participatory research. Drawing from international fieldwork experience, the paper posits that such concerns are even more important in the context of multiple axes of difference, inequalities, and geopolitics, where the ethics and politics involved in research across boundaries and scales need to be heeded and negotiated in order to achieve more ethical research practices.


everyday behavior; academia; ethics; fieldwork; reflexivity; positionality; power relations; participatory research; inequalities; geopolitics

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ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies - ISSN: 1492-9732