Anthropology Anonymous? Pseudonyms and Confidentiality as Challenges for Ethnography in the Twenty-first Century
Schlagworte:Anonymisation, pseudonyms, confidentiality, research ethics, anthropological fieldwork
This article reflects on the delicate issue of confidentiality and anonymity in contemporary anthropological research. It focuses on the challenges of assigning pseudonyms and disguising the identity of interlocutors and participants, especially in the contemporary context of the widespread use of social media and the internet. Drawing on the moral dilemmas, struggles, and failures that I experienced in relation to these issues in my own research, the article discusses the complexity of finding the right balance between respecting research participants’ interests and well-being, on the one hand, and living up to both the high ethical standards of the discipline and the desire to provide a meaningful analysis of ‘real’ issues, people, and places, on the other.
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