- Gender and Sexuality (ISSN:18804764)
- no.9, pp.211-225, 2014-03-31
This paper lists ethical and procedural points that the co-authors believeare crucial for both researchers and research subjects in the realm of queerstudies. While the definition of the term “queer(kuia)” in Japanese tendsto be broader and more ambiguous than in English because there is nostrict equivalent to “queer” in Japanese language, in this paper the authorsstart with the premise that Japanese-language research projects in thequeer realm tend to be interdisciplinary and tend to involve people whoidentify themselves as sexual minorities, commonly called “LGBT(lesbian,gay, bisexual, and transgender).” As such, research endeavors in the queerrealm have different kinds of difficulties and risks from those in otherrealms. Though each researcher usually belongs to another, moretraditional discipline such as sociology, art history, and literary studies,among others, in addition to queer studies, the existing guidelines andtextbooks in such traditional disciplines do not address the risks andproblems particular to research in the queer realm. As the first attempt in the Japanese language to “spell out” such queerrelatedrisks, issues, and also possible ways to alleviate them, this tentativeguideline nevertheless does not profess to be comprehensive or universal.Yet the authors believe that it is imperative for Japanese-language “queer”researchers to start to acknowledge specific risks and issues. In order tohelp the researchers(including graduate and undergraduate students),instructors(including the ones that are not at all aware of LGBT issues),research subjects or collaborators(who give interviews and provideinformational materials such as the back issues of self-published zines),this paper is organized in four categories. They are: 1)“what needs to beconsidered in the field of queer inquiry by both the researchers andresearch subjects,” 2)“what both the instructors and students of queersubject matter need to be careful about in the academic context,” 3)“important points about textual analysis of queer material,” and 4)“necessary procedures at the time of publishing and presenting the resultsof queer research topics.” This paper discusses the complex dynamicsbetween researchers and research subjects especially in cases in which theresearchers themselves are members of sexual minorities. In such cases,the researchers might encourage research subjects of the same minoritygroup to participate in their research without obtaining enoughinformation about the skill, scope and aim of the researcher and theresearch project. This paper also examines the differences between queerreadings and outing the artists and authors of the texts and representations,among many other issues.