Citizenship, beneficence, and informed consent: the ethics of working in mixed-status families

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Abstract

This article draws from a 23-month ethnographic study conducted in mixed-status Mexican homes to detail the particular methodological concerns that arise when conducting research within these legally complex and vulnerable families. Specifically, the analysis illustrates when and why undocumented parents in one focal family asked the ethnographer to consider legally adopting their two young sons in an effort to obtain equal rights for both children and to mitigate the risk of family separation during deportation. The ethical issues of beneficence, informed consent, and reciprocity raised by this particular situation open onto larger methodological and ethical questions relevant to qualitative and ethnographic researchers working within immigrant communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-85
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

Keywords

  • beneficence
  • citizenship
  • ethnography
  • informed consent
  • reciprocity

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