oa Mosenodi - Responsible research ethics in African contexts

Volume 15, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN : 1021-559X



Chilisa presents the debate on the application of Euro-Western based research methodologies across cultures and the implication of this debate for an ethical research process. She argues that techniques of collecting data in former colonized countries are not always ethical and that the theories and subsequent volumes of literature are not favorable to these societies. Current ethical principles of informed consent are centered on Euro-western values of individualism that do not always apply in communities where collective decision making and community participation in decision making are valued. Within this context, questions arise, such as: What does it mean to be a responsible researcher in African contexts? Ethical issues arise in researching sacred indigenous knowledge using the Mazenge cult as an example. Is it ethical to gather information on a respondent through a third person where the cultural practices sanction the researcher against communicating directly with the key informant such as in the Mazenge cult?

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