ETHICAL BUT AMORAL: Moral considerations for researching Cambodian host-children

Mona Ji Hyun Yang, Elaine Chiao Ling Yang, Catheryn Khoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Research ethics is critical because imprudent adherence to procedural ethics may result in the exclusion of vulnerable people, thereby perpetuating the inferior status of vulnerable research participants. Underpinned by Bauman's theory of adiaphorization, this paper argues that the interchangeable use of morals and ethics in procedural ethics encourages researchers to adhere to procedural ethics, which may result in ethical but amoral research decisions. In this paper, we distinguish morals from ethics and discuss the moral considerations that researchers may need to contemplate. Through the first author's reflexivity on experiences researching host-children in Cambodia, a conceptual framework is proposed to visualise the interplay between researchers' positionality and the philosophical beliefs that shape moral considerations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Research ethics
  • Moral considerations
  • Reflexivity
  • Host-children
  • Vulnerable group
  • Philosophical beliefs


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