Ethical Reflections in Qualitative Research on Father Absence from South Africa
This chapter endeavors to share the ethical challenges confronted in conducting qualitative research on father absence in South Africa. It demonstrates how interviewing relatives constitute a change in sampling design and the associated ethical dilemmas that this brings. The chapter presents findings that have implications for informed consent, principle of privacy, participants' safety and data quality in studies on absent fathers. It shows that field-workers may also harbor misconceptions about help, a phenomenon that is thought to be bought into by participants. In community-based studies, the possibility of researchers interviewing their own relatives exists and is likely to be a permanent feature, as local researchers are increasingly conducting studies in their own postcolonial communities. The field-worker is usually discouraged from interviewing people who are related to them. This is an ethical and methodological issue that needs to be considered by ethics committees and researchers.