n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Ducking and diving : ethical and moral dilemmas in doing criminological research

Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



This article focuses on the ethics of doing research in dangerous or ethically compromising environments. It focuses on two ethnographic projects in South Africa: youth involvement in political violence and the transformation of the riot police. In this article I reflect on a number of ethical dilemmas that confront those of us who choose to go into the field and discover why violence occurs, and how social control works, from the inside. I explore a number of ethical dilemmas in this article: the slippery nature of informed consent; seeing things that are morally compromising; going native; and putting ourselves in dangerous situations. This article is written in a narrative and self-reflective form. The aim of the article is to stimulate discussion on ethical dilemmas in doing rough ethnographies, i.e. ethnographies in places and spaces that are not safe or comfortable for researchers.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error