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Pesquisas e Práticas Psicossociais

On-line version ISSN 1809-8908


BARCINSKI, Mariana. The role of informality and the unexpected in the scientific research: epistemological, methodological and ethical notes for discussion. Pesqui. prát. psicossociais [online]. 2014, vol.9, n.2, pp. 279-286. ISSN 1809-8908.

From one experience report about the field work in a female prison institution, this article aims at discussing the role played by informality in the research process. The main argument is that the guidelines provided by the scientific method - especially regarding the need for neutrality and objectivity in order to follow rigid protocols for data collection and analysis - have recurrently been configured as obstacles to the conduction of social qualitative research. In addition to the rigidity of methodological guidelines indicated as appropriate to the particular method, the informality of relations established in the field also invites us to debate the ethical issues surrounding the research with human beings. The current report will illustrate the ways in which openness to informality and to unpredictability specific of the field constitutes an essential tool to conduct researches which are sensitive to the concrete realities of the investigated individuals.

Keywords : scientific method; field work; role of informality; ethical issues.

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