"I wish he hadn't told me that": methodological and ethical issues in social trauma and conflict research

Qual Health Res. 2003 Oct;13(8):1145-54. doi: 10.1177/1049732303255997.


Undertaking research on individuals who have experienced social traumas, such as being a victim or perpetrator of genocides and wars, presents difficult decisions for qualitative researchers. Deciding how to deal with these issues becomes more problematic when the researcher is a member of the society in conflict. To do this work, and to work collaboratively with researchers from the other side, sensitive ways to collect data have to be chosen. Interpretations of the materials can be no less difficult: Analyses often lead to information and understandings that may be difficult for the researcher to deal with from ethical, moral, and personal standpoints, especially when he or she is a member of the society and culture under study. In this keynote address, the author explores methodological and ethical issues connected to these topics. She brings examples from her work on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and focuses on use of the life story methodology.

Publication types

  • Address

MeSH terms

  • Arabs
  • Ethics
  • Ethics, Research*
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Qualitative Research*
  • Refugees
  • Social Problems*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Terrorism
  • Warfare