A faint echo: using fictionalisation to speak the unspeakable

Midgley, Warren (2014) A faint echo: using fictionalisation to speak the unspeakable. In: Echoes: ethics and issues of voice in education research. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 15-23. ISBN 978-94-6209-490-1


My Doctor of Philosophy study (Midgley, 2011) was about the experiences of Saudi students at an Australian university. The data for this study were drawn from a series of narrative discussion groups (Midgley, 2013) in which I asked Saudi participants to tell me about their experiences as international students at an Australian university. As there were no pre-determined questions for these narrative discussion groups, the Saudi participants were able to select which experiences they wished to discuss in the context of this research project. Over the course of the study, I came to see and hear about things that the Saudi students had experienced, but which they chose not to discuss in the narrative discussion groups.
On several instances, I came to know about these things because the participants themselves told me, as a friend, outside the context of the narrative discussion groups. On one other occasion, I was a witness to the event myself.
From my perspective, the unspoken (in the data collection) experiences I had both seen and been told about would almost certainly have had a significant impact upon the overall experiences of these participants, and thus would have been important factors for my study. However, the formal ethics approval I had been given by my university's Human Research Ethics Committee did not permit me to use this information as data. This raised for me the difficult ethical question of what to do with things I knew about, but could not write about. This chapter outlines some of the ethical considerations I faced in this study with respect to the complex notion of voice, and outlines the method of fictionalisation which I employed in an attempt to appropriately acknowledge and represent the various
voices that I identified in the context of this research.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2014 Sense Publishers. Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2014 04:50
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2017 23:52
Uncontrolled Keywords: education research; Saudi students; Australia; research ethics; representation; voice
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130302 Comparative and Cross-Cultural Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220107 Professional Ethics (incl. police and research ethics)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/26063

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