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Challenges in Digital Ethnography

Research Ethics Relating to the Securitisation of Islam

In: Journal of Muslims in Europe
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  • 1 Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany
  • | 2 Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany
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Abstract

The article explores ethical challenges in digital media ethnography in the field of militant political Islam, pointing to the dilemma that arises in doing research on Islam as part of the securitised research funding system. Expanding on discussions in anthropology about the principles of “do no harm” and “be open and honest about your work”, the authors reflectively contextualise the interrelated notions of “Jihadism” and “Salafism” and examine how these categories serve as “floating signifiers”. Examining one particular incident from the digital fieldwork leads to discussions of transparency, anonymity and shifting forms of “publicness” in the digital sphere.

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