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Making sense of 'slippages': re-evaluating ethics for digital research with children and young people

Lookup NU author(s): Kieran Cutting, Sean PeacockORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. In this paper, we argue that institutional ethical procedures do not properly prepare children’s geographers to conduct digital research with children and young people (CYP). To address this, we propose a relational, dynamic approach to ethics fit for such contemporary research with CYP. We find fault in a growing disconnect between processual expectations of our academic institution and the realities of ‘ethics-in-practice’. This is especially pronounced in an age where digital technologies have created fresh challenges for researchers. As a result, when ethical ‘slippages’ occur–moments departing from expectations but not leading to clear breaches of ethical conduct–researchers are left ill-equipped to manage situations that arise. We reflect on our own experiences of researching digital technologies in youth work settings in the UK to present two examples of ethical ‘slippages’, before offering our reconstructive propositions for ethical procedures fit for digital children’s geographies research.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cutting K, Peacock S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Children's Geographies

Year: 2024

Pages: Epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 23/03/2021

Acceptance date: 16/03/2021

Date deposited: 09/01/2024

ISSN (print): 1473-3285

ISSN (electronic): 1473-3277

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/14733285.2021.1906404


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Funder referenceFunder name
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Civics