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A gift exchange relationship?: reflections on doing qualitative research with vulnerable migrants

Madziva, Roda

A gift exchange relationship?: reflections on doing qualitative research with vulnerable migrants Thumbnail



Recent reflections on the study of forced migration stress the importance of constructing ethically sound research relationships that both respect research participants as autonomous agents and protect them from all forms of harm in the research process. Although this is important, very little research in this area has focused directly on the production of intimacy in the research process and how intimate research relationships that are produced can subsequently become the basis on which disclosures are shared and how this can contribute to both the quality of the research process and output. In this article I reflect on my intimate research relationship with Zimbabwean migrant parents who I interviewed in the United Kingdom. I argue that there is an element of (gift) exchange to intimate qualitative research encounters that yields benefits to both the researcher and the researched. In so doing, I also highlight some of the ethical dilemmas I encountered and how they were overcome

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 8, 2013
Publication Date Nov 1, 2015
Deposit Date May 11, 2016
Publicly Available Date May 11, 2016
Journal Families, Relationships and Societies
Print ISSN 2046-7435
Electronic ISSN 2046-7443
Publisher Policy Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 3
Keywords Gift exchange, Migrant parents, Zimbabwean, Children, relationship
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Families, relationships and societies. The definitive publisher-authenticated version: A gift exchange relationship? Reflections on doing qualitative research with vulnerable migrants. Volume 4, Number 3, November 2015, pp. 465-480 is available online at:


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