n South African Journal of Higher Education - Research as potentially apolitical : possible impossibility or impossible possibility?

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article focuses on the broad problematic of social research as attempts on accessing - for aggregation or gaining new insights - accurate motives and thoughts of research participants as they function within contexts and time. It argues that researchers are handicapped in any research endeavour because they are dependent on what the researched can make publicly available. This is the inherent dilemma in research - the inaccessibility of the other mind and its capability to separate the public self and the inner self such that the capacity to display theatrics to fit expected roles is a constant threat. Furthermore, the article asks whether research can ever be apolitical because of the inherent tension between the researcher and the researched emanating from who is in control of the research process. This backdrop is attempted within the truth representation model and argumentation which are then tested against two recently published articles in SAJHE.

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