Ethics in Qualitative Research: 'Vulnerability', Citizenship and Human Rights

Ethics and Social Welfare 6 (1):2-17 (2012)
This paper poses questions regarding the ethical prioritisation in qualitative research studies on assessing a person's or a group's fitness to provide informed consent, arguing that this may have unwanted as well as desirable consequences, particularly in relation to rights of citizenship for socially marginalised populations who tend to be labelled vulnerable. Drawing on three theoretical perspectives (Arendt, Honneth and Bourdieu), it is suggested that the emphasis placed on a research participant's capacity to provide informed consent cannot be regarded solely as a protective measure for ?vulnerable? groups, but is also bound up with their social positioning as socially ?deficient? according to liberal (classical and neo-liberal) models of citizenship. Participation in a qualitative study can be seen as a dimension of the civil and human right to freedom of expression, and this can be particularly important for those labelled vulnerable as freedom of expression is a precondition for recognition and parity of status. Nevertheless, the importance of informed consent is not rejected; instead, it is posited that the protective rights accorded to vulnerable groups in qualitative research need to be considered alongside other human goods, such as the promotion of voice, agency and active citizenship
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/17496535.2011.591811
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,422
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Amartya Sen (2009). The Idea of Justice. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
John Rawls (2009). A Theory of Justice. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy and Rhetoric. Oxford University Press. pp. 133-135.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Rosamond Rhodes (2005). Rethinking Research Ethics. American Journal of Bioethics 5 (1):7 – 28.
Jae Hwan Lee & Ronald K. Mitchell (2011). Towards Refining the Concept of Corporate Citizenship. Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 22:265-273.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

24 ( #197,878 of 1,924,768 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #417,923 of 1,924,768 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.