Special Issue Call For Papers: The ethics and politics of knowledge production

Calls for Papers: Special Issue

The ethics and politics of knowledge production:
Critical reflections on social work and social sciences research

Special Issue Guest Editor:
Teresa Macias, School of Social Work, York University

Submission Deadline: December 15, 2013

CFP - PDF version

Intersectionalities calls for multidisciplinary contributions to a special issue exploring ethical challenges and political considerations related to social work and social science research practices. The foci of this collection are research practices, methodologies and ethics through reflection on the actual work of research and its role in the socially and politically situated production of knowledge in areas relevant to social work, social sciences, social policy, etc. Of particular interest are manuscripts which critically reflect on research work with: communities and people who experience social marginalization, victims and survivors of historical injustice and violence, and populations who are often the object of research but excluded from processes of knowledge production. The manuscripts may also explore the power relations at work in the identification and/or production of certain populations, communities and peoples as objects/targets of research. By focusing on questions of ethics in research practices, this special issue aims to centralize the ethical challenges experienced by social science and social work researchers in the ordinary, minute and detailed work associated with research and with decisions about methodologies, theoretical/conceptual frameworks, practices of data collection and analysis, etc.

This issue builds on the premise that research is a productive and socio-politically situated form of work that actively implicates researchers in the production of knowledge and in social power relations. As a socio-politically situated activity, social science research work can be understood as what Foucault would call a biopolitical devise, the objective of which is to capture and render specific forms of life and life experiences explicit and knowable. This biopolitical condition of research cannot be avoided simply by identifying ‘better’ research approaches. Rather, it requires critical reflection that renders problematic the role and location of researchers in the contextual and politically relevant work of research. Therefore, this special issue seeks to make research work a significant site of analysis, theorizing and critical reflection as well as a site for raising ethical questions that are not generally addressed through institutional research ethics frameworks. By raising these questions and issues, the papers in this special issue will explore possibilities for transformative and critical approaches to research that, while avoiding producing research work as innocent, will look for ways of doing research differently and more critically.

• Politics and ethics of representation in research such as:
o The ethics of reproducing and representing extremes forms of violence in research reports: What should be made known in research and what should remain unrepresented?
• Politics of decision making in regards to what and who we research and may include:
o Ethics associated with making certain populations the object of research and knowledge production
o Research and ethics associated with populations considered evil (for example sex-offenders, pedophiles, abusers, etc.)
o The practices and ethics of researching with one’s own community
o Ethical challenges associated with politics of consent when researching with populations who experience social marginalization
o Ethical challenges associated with working with populations that occupy a different social location than the researcher (for example, non-Indigenous researchers doing research with Indigenous communities or peoples; able-body researchers working with differently-able communities, etc.)
• The minutia of research and data collection, coding and analysis:
o Ethical challenges associated with the use of specific research methodologies as tools for knowledge production
o What practices of knowledge production inform the collection and organization of data?
o The biopolitical and disciplinary function of research work
o Practices, strategies and ethics of reporting on racist, sexist, homophobic, classist, etc. values expressed by research participants
• Research as a subject-making professional activity. This theme may include:
o Research work as a devise for the in-securing of professional recognition and institutional belonging
o The politics and ethics of rendering the researcher’s social location explicit in social justice research
• Power and knowledge production: the ethical challenges and possibilities of making race, gender, class, sexual difference, ability, etc. central to research

• Contributions should be between 4000 and 7000 words
• In addition to meeting the thematic focus of the special issue, submissions should follow the Journal’s editorial policies and guidelines for submissions, which can be found at: http://journals.library.mun.ca/ojs/index.php/IJ/about/editorialPolicies#peerReviewProcess
• To ensure articles are in keeping with the journal’s focus, authors should ensure their manuscripts are relevant to Intersectionalities’ focus and scope (please refer to the Journal policy at: http://journals.library.mun.ca/ojs/index.php/IJ/about/editorialPolicies#focusAndScope)
• At the top of your submission, please clearly state: “Special Issue: The ethics and politics of knowledge production”: Critical reflections on social work and social sciences research
• An abstract (maximum 200 words) and keywords (maximum 5) must be included at the beginning of the manuscript.
• All papers should be submitted online at http://journals.library.mun.ca/ojs/index.php/IJ/about/submissions#onlineSubmissions

Submissions will go through the following review process:
1. Review by the Guest Editor of the special issue who will preselect submissions according to whether they meet the criteria, thematic focus and editorial guidelines identified above and in the journal website.
2. Preselected submissions will be sent to at least two reviewers for double-masked peer review.

Please direct any questions related to this special issue to Dr. Teresa Macias at tmacias@yorku.ca

ISSN: 1925-1270