Exploring young people's voices in ethnographic research: Remarks on the ethical implications of ethnographic interviews with marginalised young people

  • Peter Hornbæk Frostholm


This paper frames a general theoretical discussion on the use of children’s and young people’s voices in social research. Through examples drawn from the ethnographic interview methodology used in the project: Marginalisation and Co-created Education (MaCE), the paper explores the research ethical implications when conducting ethnographic interviews with possibly vulnerable and marginalised young people. I argue that the methodological reflections on research ethics come down to a discussion on navigating through dilemmas regarding children’s and young people’s right to an actual voice in research. Through the term ethical situationism, I argue that researchers must undertake ethical judgements and deal with ethical considerations as they go – and in that sense act ethically according to context while interviewing. Not everything can be planned for and must be dealt with on the go.