Positionality and Ethics in Doing Research


Positionality, Standpoint Epistemology, Ethics, Research, Philosophy

How to Cite

Elicor, P. P. E. (2022). Positionality and Ethics in Doing Research. ARADMAN: Multidisciplinary Research Journal, 2(1), 1-17. Retrieved from https://journal.evsu.edu.ph/index.php/amrj/article/view/288


In this paper, I highlight the importance of adopting a greater sensitivity towards positionality in the process of doing research. Posi­tionality refers to the conditions surrounding one’s position in relation to the existing economic, political, cultural and social networks. These conditions inform how one sees the world, and also how one is seen by others. This is premised on the assumption that knowledge is imbued with the conditions underlying the standpoint of the knower. In connection, researchers are situated in concrete circumstances that affect how they choose their research agenda, environment, subjects, methodologies and frameworks. I claim that awareness on why and how a researcher comes up with these choices is a preliminary step in maintaining an ethical approach in conducting research. Thus, doing research is more than just following pre-established ethical guidelines, like ticking all the boxes in a manual. Rather, it involves a self-reflexive inquiry into the larger societal structures that implicitly inform and influence the entire research process from the determination of a problem up to the decision to publish the output. Through the methodological tools of reflexive thinking and conscious partiality, a researcher is enabled to take positionality seriously and resist a disinterested view from nowhere.