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Researching racial and ethnic diversity George TH Ellison London Metropolitan University.

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1 Researching racial and ethnic diversity George TH Ellison London Metropolitan University

2  Funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation  Team members: Sarah Salway George TH Ellison Peter Allmark Ruth Barley Kate Gerrish Gina Higginbottom

3  The UK is a multi-ethnic society.  2001 Census England 13% other than 'White British'  Outcomes for minority ethnic groups worse (though diversity within and between ethnic 'groups')  RR(A)A places significant duties on public bodies  DH Research Governance Framework: “Research… should respect the diversity of human society… should take account of age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race, culture and religion… evidence available to policy makers should reflect the diversity of the population.”  Expectations of evidence-based social policy and practice  Need for (and right to) inclusion in research

4  Most social research: ► focuses on majority ‘White British’ population ► fails to consider ethnicity as a variable of analysis  Little consensus on conceptualisation, measurement, analysis or reporting of ethnicity research  In principle  Yes: ► evidence base should reflect the experience of our diverse population, and inform positive change for all  In practice  Yes/No: ► complex/contentious ethical and scientific issues arise

5  Critical junctures in the research cycle: 1. Scoping and commissioning of research 2. Independent Scientific Review or equivalent prior to receiving funding 3. Ethics Approval prior to commencing a study 4. Peer-review at publication stage.  Feasible/desirable to introduce guidance at these points?  Would such guidance have any impact on the quantity or quality of research that addresses ethnic diversity?

6 1. Review work & Consultation (Learned Societies, published literature, social researchers in various settings, ethics/ISR boards) ▼ 2. Development of guidance for different stages (Commissioners, researchers, review boards, peer reviewers) ▼ 3. Piloting of guidance (Commissioners/funders; review boards; journals) ▼ 4. Further refinement & other outputs (Website?)


8 Methods  Review of guidance on scientific ethics and practice provided by ‘Learned Societies’  32 Learned Societies listed as members of the UK Academy of Social Sciences  Two key aims: ► explicit/implicit consideration of ‘ethnic diversity’ ► factors influencing ‘active consideration’ of this issue

9 Methods  Detailed examination of Society’s website: ► documents ► activities  Text searches for ‘ethics’, ‘standards’ and ‘ethnicity’ ► ethic*, guid*, code, conduct ► ethnic*, divers*, equal*, cultur*, relig*, rac*  Emails to Chair/key administrator  Interpretive documentary analysis ► exploratory themes  (draft) coding template ► systematic extraction and coding of data

10 Sample  Societies ranged in size: ► Society for the Study of Organisation in Healthcare <100 ► British Psychological Association ≈ 45,000  Societies ranged in age: ► Royal Geographical Society est. 1830 ► UK Evaluation Society est. 1994  Degree of professional accreditation/regulation



13 Data available  n=13 (41%) – explicitly address research ethics/standards  n= 4 (12%) – professional standards  n=15 (47%) – no documentation ► small size – no capacity to develop guidance ► multidisciplinarity – guidance suitable for all ► no research funding – no need ► debate – no regulatory function ► deliberate – avoid questioning members’ integrity ► referred members to other sources of guidance  Ethics a prominent issue for discussion in all Societies

14 Themes - 1  Responsibilities to sponsors and commissioners “[Anthropologists] should attempt to ensure that sponsors, funders and employers appreciate the obligations that they have not only to them, but also to research participants and to professional colleagues.” (ASA) “Researchers must avoid agreeing to any sponsor’s conditions that could lead to serious contravention of any aspect of these guidelines or that undermine the integrity of the research” (BERA)

15 Themes - 2  Responsibilities to colleagues and the profession “The RGS-IBG is committed to social inclusion, diversity and equal opportunities throughout the geographical professions” (RGS) “[Members should] Promote equal opportunity in all aspects of their professional work and actively seek to avoid discriminatory behaviour. This includes a moral obligation to challenge stereotypes and negative attitudes based on prejudice.” (BSC)

16 Themes - 3  Responsibilities to research participants “Particular care is needed on the part of researchers to ensure that research methods do not unintentionally discriminate. After taking any explicit sampling criteria into account, all reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that particular groups of people targeted in a study are not excluded from participation.” (SSRG) “Social researchers have a responsibility to ensure inclusion in research projects of relevant individuals or groups who might otherwise be excluded for reasons of communication, disability, comprehension or expense.” (SRA)

17 Themes - 4  Responsibilities to research participants (cont.) “Investigators may not have sufficient knowledge of the implications of any investigation for the participants. It should be borne in mind that the best judge of whether an investigation will cause offence may be members of the population from which the participants in the research are drawn.” (BPS) “As far as is possible anthropologists should try and involve the people being studied in the planning and execution of research projects.” (ASA)

18 Themes - 5  Responsibilities to wider society “To ensure that every SSRG member, user, job applicant, employee or any person working with, or in contact with, the organisation receives fair treatment irrespective of their age, colour, disability, gender, ethnic origin, marital status, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, responsibility for dependants, political affiliation or membership of a trade union.” (SSRG) “It should be borne in mind that decisions made on the basis of research may have effects on individuals as members of a group even if individual research participants are protected by confidentiality and anonymity.” (BSA)

19 Summary  No evidence of systematic attention  Preference for guidance over regulation  Little explicit attention (sometimes intentionally)  Generic statements leave interpretation to the reader  Scientifically robust research  ethically robust  Will existing guidance alert researchers?  Explicit guidance focussed on 3 themes: ► benefit wider society – inclusive ► do not overlook sub-groups – not exclusionary ► consider (differential) consequences – sensitive  Will existing guidance alert researchers?  Are guidelines feasible or desirable?

20 21st Century Society 2009; 4: 53-81 Social research for a multiethnic population: do the research ethics and standards guidelines of UK Learned Societies address this challenge? Sarah Salway a*, Peter Allmark a, Ruth Barley a,b, Gina Higginbottom c, Kate Gerrish d and George T.H. Ellison e a Centre for Health and Social Care Research, Sheffield Hallam University, UK; b Centre for Education & Inclusion Research, Sheffield Hallam University, UK; c Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Canada and University of Karolinska, Sweden; d Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK; e Graduate School at London Metropolitan University, UK

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