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Dealing with Dilemmas of Difference - Ethical and Psychological Considerations of “Othering” and “Peer Dialogues” in the Research Encounter

Angela Kühner, Phil C. Langer

Abstract

In this paper we review two qualitative interview studies, in which dilemmas of difference played a decisive role. With regard to the first study, which focused on the influence of migration backgrounds in student’s perception of Holocaust Education in Germany, we discuss several research decisions that were made to avoid methodological othering. Concerning a study on HIV risk behavior of gay and bisexual men, psychological challenges of a participa-tory approach that involved peer interviewers are outlined. We argue that strategies of recognition of the “other”  -  seen as a reflexive agent - have to be developed systematically as an ethical precondition of socially responsible research.

Keywords

Stigma; othering; participatory research; research ethics; psychology; reflexivity

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