Public Health Ethics 10 (3) (2017)

In this paper, we extend Michel Foucault’s final works on the ‘care of the self’ to an empirical examination of research practice in community-based research. We use Foucault’s ‘morality of behaviors’ to analyze interview data from a national sample of Canadian CBR practitioners working with communities affected by HIV. Despite claims in the literature that ethics review is overly burdensome for non-traditional forms of research, our findings suggest that many researchers using CBR have an ambivalent but ultimately productive relationship with institutional research ethics review requirements. They understand and use prescribed codes, but adapt them in practice to account for the needs of participating community members, members of their research teams and the larger communities with whom they work. Complying with ethics protocols was seen as only the beginning, a minimum standard; our research suggests that the real ethical work happens in the field, where CBR practitioners encounter community members in diverse public roles and must forge ethical consensus across communities. CBR represents an ethical terrain in which practitioners challenge themselves to work differently, and as a result they care for themselves—and others—in ways that often resist the propensity for domination through public health research. ‘…there are different ways to “conduct oneself” morally, different ways for the acting individual to operate, not just as an agent, but as an ethical subject of action.’
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DOI 10.1093/phe/phw024
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References found in this work BETA

Foucault on Freedom.Johanna Oksala - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
An Anthropology of Ethics.James D. Faubion - 2011 - Cambridge University Press.

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