"It is astonishing what foolish things one can temporarily believe if one thinks too long alone, particularly in economics". John Maynard Keynes (1936, The General Theory).

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Ethics in Economic Field Research or Short Stories of Dependency


Irene Sotiropoulou
PhD Student (University of Crete, Department of Economics)
This paper has been prepared within the framework of the student’s PhD programme under the supervision of Prof. George Stathakis.

An earlier version of this paper has been presented at the 1st Conference of the Academic Society for Political Economy, co-organised (19-20.06.2009) with the 11th Conference of Greek Historians of Economic Thought, titled “Economic Crisis and Economic Theory” and held in Rethymnon (Gallos University Campus), Greece.

Email for correspondence: isotiropoulou@econ.soc.uoc.gr

Full text available at:

or at the link under the title "Short Stories of Dependency"



The paper is an attempt to use the idea of reflexivity in order to organise and set “ready for answers” the ethical issues which have arisen at the very beginning of the field research (on a topic in the economics area) and have been anticipated for later stages of the research project. While at the beginning, the ethical issues were well covered under the appearance of “everyday” research practical problems to be resolved, the interaction with research participants revealed the theoretical depth that those same issue can have and the extend to which they might affect the research project itself. The paper as well as the issues are divided for analysis purposes, into three categories: the first deals with ethics concerning the terminology, vocabulary and narratives during or after field research; the second, discusses the ethical issues connected the interaction with participants, especially two issues: their acceptance to participate in the project and the information exchange; and the third part, discusses the cases where the researcher faces petitions for assistance in constructing something, that according to the research proposal, belongs to the object of the research.
Keywords: ethics, field research, reflexivity.
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Open for... discussion!

This blog has been created in order to publicise the research taking place in the Department of Economics of the University of Crete since February 12th 2009, concerning parallel currencies and exchange trade in Greece. The blog adminstrators are Professor George Stathakis, who supervises the research, and PhD student Irene Sotiropoulou.

We use the blog not only for informing the public about the evolution of the research, but also for the chance it gives to publish working papers and enable readers to comments and participate in the discussion!
We have also opened a... facebook account under the name "Ανταλλαγές Παράλληλα Νομίσματα".