From Ethics to Refusal: Protecting Migrant and Refugee Students from the Researcher's Gaze




humanizing methodology, testimonio, migrant and refugee youth, politics of protection, research ethics


This piece makes a methodological contribution to refugee studies in the context of the “ethical turn” in the field by arguing for a spectre orientation to the student voice that resituates participant knowledge as diffused rather than explicit. This orientation, as a methodological stance, goes beyond reflexivity and practices a refusal to engage in damage-centred research. Drawing from a broad theoretical and conceptual literature within the contexts of forced migration, this short essay expands the current literature focusing on procedural ethics by offering a more humanizing methodology for conducting research with migrant and refugee youth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Author Biography

Vianney A. Gavilanes, University of California Berkeley

Vianney A. Gavilanes is a PhD candidate at the University of California Berkeley in the Graduate School of Education. She can be reached at


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How to Cite

Gavilanes, V. A. (2022). From Ethics to Refusal: Protecting Migrant and Refugee Students from the Researcher’s Gaze. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 38(1), 88–94.