Ethical Considerations in Social Sciences: The Dilemmas of Informed Consent

Ethical Considerations in Social Sciences: The Dilemmas of Informed Consent
Haji Karim Khan, Hussain, Mir Alam
Research Journal of Social Sciences & Economics Review, April-June 2021; 2(2)
Open Access
Abstract
Informed consent is an integral component of research ethics in Social Sciences. It has been observed that in Pakistan, most of the research ethics have been borrowed from the Western context. Therefore, it is vital to see how research ethics are being construed and practiced in Pakistan having different socio-cultural values and norms. In the case of informed consent, the bigger question is ‘how informed the informed consent is?’ Thus, in this paper, through a qualitative exploratory approach, we have explored how active Social Science researchers in our universities, see the notion of informed consent. We interviewed eighteen university teachers for the study. Transcribed the interviews verbatim and analyzed those using robust qualitative approaches. Findings show that ‘informed consent’ becomes a dilemma for the researchers given the variations in the socio-cultural and linguistic contexts of the settings. Findings have pertinent implications for policymakers, university management, and researchers in the context of Social Sciences.

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