Research on Vulnerable and Marginalized Populations
American Political Science Association Organized Section for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, Qualitative Transparency Deliberations, Working Group Final Reports, Report IV.3 (2018)
16 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2019
Date Written: February 13, 2019
This report discusses research transparency – its forms and benefits, costs and risks, and recommendations for practice – as it pertains to qualitative research projects involving vulnerable and marginalized populations. In the first section of the report, we draw from the QTD deliberations to first explain that "marginalization and vulnerability" are not fixed or given categories in political science research. Relying on university Institutional Review Board (IRB) definitions of these terms is insufficient, as they do not account for the range of research participants that political scientists may encounter, and IRBs are often not familiar with the contexts in which political science research is conducted. Therefore, rather than positing a universal or all-encompassing definition of vulnerability and marginalization, we suggest that these terms are constituted vis-à-vis specific research questions and contexts.
Keywords: qualitative methods, research transparency, marginalization, vulnerable populations, research ethics, human subjects protection, Qualitative Transparency Deliberations
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