The moral consequences of what we construct through qualitative research

Year: 1997

Author: Lankshear, Colin

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

By its very nature, qualitative research generates a wide range of issues concerning moral consequences of the research act. While some of these issues apply in common to non-qualitative research approaches, others are more or less distinctive to qualitative research, and others again take on distinctive forms or aspects within qualitative inquiry. This paper will emphasise dimensions and types of moral consequences that are more or less distinctively associated with qualitative research. It will draw on a concept of morality framed in terms of rights and obligations relating to matters of human good and harm. Moral consequences will be explored from "front end", "back end" and "within research" perspectives. Consequences of "commission" and "omission" will be identified, with reference to research processes as well as research products. Rights and obligations impinging on human good and harm will be explored in relation to "the researched", "the researcher's craft", "the consumers of research", "the wider community/common good", "the researcher's colleagues/ community", and "the researcher her/himself".