Ethico-Political Dilemmas of a Community Oral History Project: Navigating the Culture of the Corporate University
This essay examines ethico-political dilemmas that arose while pursuing a qualitative research project in the context of a university increasingly corporatizing the culture of everyday life in the academy. The author considers ethico-political dilemmas with respect to fundraising, competing interests, and “ownership” of the data. The social justice interests of community members to document their life stories are juxtaposed against the university’s efforts to achieve principles outlined in its mission, gain visibility with respect to such efforts, and to “profit” from researchers’ community-based projects. The essay offers reflections on strategies to navigate the labyrinth of corporatization in the general context of community-based efforts to assert a presence that counters their socio-political invisibility from historical accounts.
corporatization, ethics, oral history, culture of the academy, community-based research
Citation: Social Justice Vol. 38, No. 3 (2011): 17-32