(Over) thinking exit ethics: Conceptualising a trauma-informed approach to the ethics around leaving the field
It’s been two years since I ‘finished’ collecting data for my case study, and I still can’t think about leaving the field without worrying about my exit. Whilst carefully curated documents outlining ethical boundaries framed my entry into the field, and ongoing reflective conversations around ethical dilemmas ran through each phase during, contextual circumstances meant that I was not prepared for the exit from fieldwork that later occurred. Whilst preparing to enter the field and how research is conducted from within it is explored to great depths through both the literature and researcher training courses alike, as Delamont and Smith (2023) point out, reflections and guidance for exits from fieldwork are few and far between. In conjunction with reviewing existing literature on ethical dilemmas around leaving the field, this paper offers a partly auto ethnographical reflection on my own experiences of ethical dilemmas when leaving the field: ethical considerations addressed, and those too left unanswered. This paper reflects on qualitative data collected towards the end of the fieldwork in question; primarily ethnographic observational data alongside my own fieldwork reflections. Data presented is discussed alongside existing literature in response to the question of how ethics of exits from fieldwork could be constructed and reflected on in ways that better support both the participants and researcher alike when things don’t go to plan. The paper offers a conceptualisation of a trauma-informed approach to ethics around the exists from fieldwork and highlights the necessity for further research and training around the ethics of exits from fieldwork in general.

MS Teams link: teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_OTBlMzVkMjgtMTY0Yy00YzhiLWJkNWYtNWVkNTg3YzhlMDQ3%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%22cc95de1b-97f5-4f93-b4ba-fe68b852cf91%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%225f581465-1def-4d51-8d4c-45a3b26b5b58%22%7d
Date: 23 May 2024, 12:50 (Thursday, 5th week, Trinity 2024)
Venue: 15 Norham Gardens, 15 Norham Gardens OX2 6PY
Venue Details: Seminar Room A and online
Speaker: Josie Scammell (University of Oxford)
Organising department: Department of Education
Organiser: Dr Velda Elliott (University of Oxford)
Part of: Qualtitative Methods Hub
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Public
Editor: Hannah Freeman