Citation Copland F (2018) Reflecting on the ethics of researching communication in superdiverse contexts. In: Creese A, Blackledge A (ed.). The Routledge Handbook of Language and Superdiversity. Routledge Handbooks in Applied Linguistics, Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 133-146.
Abstract First paragraph: Ethics as both epistemology and practice has been growing in importance in the social sciences at the same time as institutions have been tightening their requirements in terms of ethical approval processes. Many of our understandings about ethical research derive directly from medical models (Copland and Creese 2015) and these have been helpful in supporting social science researchers in developing ethical approaches to their work. Notwithstanding, many institutional ethics approval processes, are not a good ‘fit’ for the kind of work social sciences researchers do, and ethics committees can struggle to understand and then approve research designs that are embryonic or field work that is situated in sites where ethical issues cannot always be predicted. In addition, the focus on the ethics approval form as product may lull researchers into believing that ethics are not part of the research process, and therefore they do not pay attention when ‘ethically important moments’ (Guillemin and Gillam 2004) occur in the field.