Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    The art and politics of covert research: doing `situated ethics' in the field

    Calvey, David (2008) The art and politics of covert research: doing `situated ethics' in the field. Sociology, 42 (5). pp. 905-18. ISSN 1469-8684 (Unpublished)

    File not available for download.


    This article discusses the covert research relationship. Specifically, it explores the ethical dimensions of fieldwork with reference to a six-month covert ethnography of `bouncers', in Manchester. Drawing from sociological literatures, the article wishes to raise for scrutiny the management of situated ethics in covert fieldwork which, despite having some increased recognition via debates about risk and danger in fieldwork, remains glossed over. The standard discourse on ethics is abstracted from the actual doing, which is a mediated and contingent set of practices. Traditionally, professional ethics has been centralized around the doctrine of informed consent with covert methodology being frowned upon and effectively marginalized as a type of `last resort methodology'.What I highlight here is the case for covert research in the face of much conventional opposition. I hope the article will open debate and dialogue about its potential role and possible creative future in the social science community.

    Impact and Reach


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.


    Actions (login required)

    View Item View Item