ERIC Number: EJ1107251
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
Oral History Research Ethics: Should Anonymity and Confidentially Issues Be Dealt with on Their Own Merit?
Le Roux, C.
Africa Education Review, v12 n4 p552-566 2015
A primary principle of ethical codes in research involving people is that of informed consent which ensures participants' right to privacy, confidentiality and anonymity. A blanket application of the principle of anonymity to Oral History (OH) research could well be counterproductive to the purported aims of OH research. The research comprised a literature study. Four rationales for doing OH are discussed and positioned within the philosophical framework that informs the purpose of and methodological approach to the research. Examples are extracted to explain where the principle of anonymity could be at variance with the research aims. When OH research sets out to contribute to historical understanding, validate respondents' lives, contribute to democracy and facilitate socio-political transformation, enforcing anonymity has the potential to denigrate the respondent and jeopardize research credibility. Researchers should question whether the unmitigated application of the principle of anonymity restricts them from achieving their mandate of affording respondents' dignity, respect, autonomy and beneficence.
Descriptors: Oral History, Ethics, Philosophy, Democracy, Personal Autonomy, Confidentiality, Social Change, Credibility, Standards, Research Methodology, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa