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Research and Ethics

The Harry Potter series itself touches upon many ethical and moral issues throughout its 8 movies and 7 novels such as, racism, classism, rights of criminals, slavery, good and evil etc., performing research into the fandom and their house can bring up a few ethical issues. In fact, this research project is basically exploring one of the moral issues, sorting ourselves into a house to identify our personalities with.

As a researcher, I am tasked with the responsibility to represent my findings accurately and honestly. This also includes if anyone is involved in my research, that they are to remain completely anonymous and none of their personal data is released. If any participants in the research project wish for their information to be withdrawn, then that is to be followed as a responsible researcher.

As much as my project will not have any research methods that require direct participation, therefore being more autoethnographic, I will still be observing other individuals’ behaviour with my niche and their interactions online! When discussing certain comments, threads, images etc, I must make sure I do not expose their name or actual comment as this can be a violation of privacy.

I will primarily be looking at individual comments or ‘interactions’ on social media with the series and how people identify with the series, be it be in a certain house or following certain characters in the fictional world.

Because I am discussing individuals and their own personality/identity, it is imperative that I recognise that the findings I discover will not include everyone and I must be careful not to marginalize any individual based on stereotype. For example, Ravenclaw house is a house proud of their ‘intelligence’, but I must not say that anyone who is a ‘smarty pants’ because of a stereotype.

I also want to look specifically at YouTube videos where individuals ‘sort themselves’ so I am able to perform and gather quantitative research that can gather statics on what people define themselves by to pick a particular house. This also means I need to use cation when discussing individuals and remain sensitive to reveal information and be careful in the way that I interpret it.

When it comes to scholarly articles related to the subject, there are a few that allude to the topic I am researching but there is nothing that explores the topic directly. To access any scholarly research, I will need to find something that comes close to the topics I am researching and be able to come to a fair and concise summary of what could be seen as findings. Otherwise, I will be using my own research as a primary source for my research project.



Published by Alex Cooper

UOW Communication and Media Student - Majoring in Digital and Social Media - Minoring in Graphic Design

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