Private talk: Testimony, evidence, and the practice of anonymization in research
Anonymity is accepted as necessary for the generation of empirical knowledge concerning human research participants, especially for members of “vulnerable” groups. In particular, anonymity has been given a role in easing the challenges of giving voice to experiences that disrupt familiar and convenient paradigms of knowledge. This paper troubles such a notion, on the grounds that anonymity may undermine the acceptance of such experiences as evidence and reinforce the kind of epistemic politics that treats some assertions as incontrovertible, while silencing others. An uncritical acceptance of anonymity generates concerns about representation, voice, and authorship in research, particularly amongst disadvantaged communities.
Berkhout, S. G. (2013) Private talk: Testimony, evidence, and the practice of anonymization in research, International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, Vol. 6, No. 1 (Spring 2013), pp. 19-45