Predicaments of Power: Trust-Based Sexualized Violence in Ethnographic Fieldwork

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Establishing trust with research participants is an indispensable part of ethnographic fieldwork. Accounts of sexualized violence in the field, however, show that in some cases such trust relations can also influence situational power dynamics in the field and pose a risk to researchers. In this chapter, I am analysing an act of rape and a further sexual assault I experienced at the hands of two trusted participants during a three-month research project in Niger. I propose a way to closely engage with situational power shifts in the field by examining different underlying processes of establishing trust, assembling capital(s) of power, and exercising violence and resistance. I further explain how established yet problematic tropes and methodology in ethnographic research can facilitate the occurrence of trust-based sexualized violence in fieldwork contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSexual Misconduct in Academia
Subtitle of host publication Informing an Ethics of Care in the University
EditorsErin Pritchard, Delyth Edwards
Place of PublicationAbingdon, UK
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781003289944
ISBN (Print)9781032277516, 9781032277721
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2023

Publication series

NameInterdisciplinary Research in Gender


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