Faceless, voiceless child – Ethics of visual anonymity in research with children and young people

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Abstract

The anonymisation of research participants is a standardised ethical practice, but researchers sometimes struggle to find an ethical balance between the practice of anonymisation and participants’ wishes to reveal their identities. In the Australian and Finnish studies utilising visuality, the participating asylum-seeking and refugee children and youths wished to reveal their faces and claim ownership for their work. The hindrance of this caused disappointment for the participants and inhibited them from telling their message. Unproblematised anonymisation may have unplanned consequences for children and present them not only as faceless but also as voiceless, thus leading to further ethical problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55–70
JournalChildhood
Volume30
Issue number1
Early online date19 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Anonymity, research ethics, visual research, young migrants, unaccompanied minor refugees

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3

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