The Ethics and Politics of Researching HIV/AIDS Within the School Context in South Africa

  • Labby Ramrathan
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 34)


This chapter presents the author’s experience and thoughts on ethical and political issues associated with researching HIV/AIDS in South Africa. These thoughts and experiences have been derived from the author’s engagement in research activities, supervision of postgraduate students’ research work and project work. The chapter presents a contextual landscape of the issues emerging from researching HIV/AIDS within South Africa. This contextual landscape then raises issues of ethics and politics associated with the pandemic leading to a conception of data as agency as a theoretical tool to understanding the complexity and competing agendas for researching HIV/AIDS within South Africa.

Ethical issue Political issue HIV/AIDS research South Africa Data as agency Researcher as activist Researcher as agency Researcher as mediator Critical discourse analysis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Appalsamy, M. (2007). An insight into the lives and words of educators living with HIV/AIDS . Research in progress towards the Ph.D. (unpublished). University of KwaZulu-Natal. Durban, South Africa.Google Scholar
  2. Badcock-Walters, P. (2001). Impact of HIV/AIDS on the Education sector in South Africa . Paper presented at the National Teacher's Union Advocacy conference on HIV/AIDS, held on 21 June 2001 at Durban College of Education, Durban.Google Scholar
  3. Bennell, P., Hyde, K., & Swainson, N. (2002). The impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the education sector in Sub-Saharan Africa . Centre for International Education, University of Sussex, Institute of Education, UK.Google Scholar
  4. Cawthra, H. C., Helman-Smith, A., & Moloi, D. (2001). Development Update. Annual Review: The voluntary sector and development in South Africa 1999/2000. Quarterly Journal of the South African National NGO Coalition and INTERFUND, 3(3).Google Scholar
  5. Coombe, C. (2000). Managing the impact of HIV/AIDS on the education sector . Pretoria: UN economic commission for Africa (UNECA).Google Scholar
  6. Crouch, L. (2003). Turbulence or orderly change? Teacher supply and demand in South Africa -Current status, future needs and the impact of HIV/AIDS. Abridged and edited by K. M. Lewin. In M. A. Samuel, K. Lewin, & Y. Sayed (Eds.), Changing patterns in teacher education. pp. 85 - 98. South Africa: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  7. Crouch, L., & Perry, H. (2003). Human resources development review 2003: Employment and skills in South Africa . Human Science Research Council. Cape Town: HSRC Press.Google Scholar
  8. Department of Education. (1999). Government gazette vol 410, no. 20372, Notice 1926 of 1999, Pretoria.Google Scholar
  9. Department of Education. (2003). Strategic plan 2003 - 2005: The Department of Education statement of policy and commitment by the Minister of Education, Pretoria.Google Scholar
  10. Department of Health. (1999). Summary report: 1998 national HIV seroprevalence survey of women attending public antenatal clinics in South Africa . Health Systems Research and Epidemiology.Google Scholar
  11. Department of Health. (2000). Managing HIV in children . Pretoria: University of Pretoria.Google Scholar
  12. Department of Health. (2002). The impact of HIV/AIDS on the health sector . Cape Town: HSRC Press.Google Scholar
  13. Fiarclough, N. (1989). Language and power. UK: Longman Group.Google Scholar
  14. Fairclough, N., & Wodak, R. (1997). Critical discourse analysis. In T. A. van Dijk (Ed.) Discourse as a social interaction (pp. 258 - 284). London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  15. Govender, M. D. (2001). Moulder or mirror: The role of media in the rationalisation and redeployment process. Unpublished M.Ed dissertation, University of Durban-Westville, South Africa.Google Scholar
  16. Human Science Research Council. (2005). The health of our teachers . Cape Town: HSRC press. Janks, H. (1997). Critical discourse analysis as a research tool. Discourse, 18(3), 329-342.Google Scholar
  17. Kamler, B. (2000). Critical discourse in educational inquiry . Material prepared for a Masters module; Deakin University, Australia.Google Scholar
  18. Kelly, M. J. (2003). The HIV/AIDS context for the leadership response. In B. Otaala (Ed.), Proceedings of a workshop on HIV/AIDS - Government leaders in Namibia responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic (pp. 46 - 72). Namibia: University of Namibia Press.Google Scholar
  19. Kinghorn, A. (2001). The impact of HIV/AIDS on the education sector . Paper presented at a meeting of Deans and Director of Faculties and Schools of Education within South African institutions. Pretoria: University of Pretoria.Google Scholar
  20. Maclennan, B. (2000). Dissent over Aids cause. Sunday Tribune, 19 March 2000, KwaZulu Natal, p. 3.Google Scholar
  21. Maharajh, S. (2006). The chosen voices in HIV/AIDS education: An exploration of how primary school educators communicate about the HIV/AIDS pandemic . Unpublished Masters disserta-tion, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.Google Scholar
  22. Mamaila, K., & Brand, R. (2000). State in a bid to quell Aids row. The Daily News, 15 September 2000, KwaZulu-Natal, p. 8.Google Scholar
  23. Marias, H. (2000). To the edge: Aids review 2000 . Pretoria: University of Pretoria.Google Scholar
  24. Matthews, R. (1998). Flukes and flaws. Prospect, 20-25 November.Google Scholar
  25. Mudaly, R. (2006). Empowering secondary school learners to explore risk perceptions and the role of gender among young people in the context of HIV/AIDS. Unpublished D.Ed thesis, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.Google Scholar
  26. Nasaree, P. (2005). A cry for help: Experiences of a HIV positive learner . Unpublished Masters dissertation, University of KwaZulu-Natal. South Africa.Google Scholar
  27. Ramrathan, P. (2002). Ways of knowing: Teacher attrition and demand in KwaZulu-Natal in the context of HIV/AIDS pandemic . D.Ed Thesis (unpublished). University of Durban-Westville, South Africa.Google Scholar
  28. Reddy, S. (2003). Troubling sexualities: Young adults’ sexual identity construction within the context of HIV/AIDS. Unpublished D.Ed Thesis, University of Durban-Westville, South Africa.Google Scholar
  29. Rhedding-Jones, J. (1995). What do you do after you’ve met poststructuralism? Research possi-bilities regarding feminism, ethnography and literacy. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 27(5), 479-500. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Riet, M., Hough, A., & Killian, B. (2005). Mapping HIV?AIDS as a barrier to education: A reflec-tion on methodological and ethical challenges to child participation. Journal of Education, 35, 75-98.Google Scholar
  31. Sarup, M. (1988). Derrida and deconstruction: In An introductory guide to post-structuralism and post-modernism . Unknown Publisher.Google Scholar
  32. Smith, A. (2001). Trends in HIV/AIDS surveillance . Paper presented at the National Teacher's Union Advocacy Conference; held at Durban College of Education; 21 June 2001, South Africa.Google Scholar
  33. St. Pierre, E. A.(1999). The work of response in ethnography. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 28(3), 266-287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tatto, M. T. (1999). Education for the rural poor in the context of educational reform: The case of Mexico . Paper delivered at The Oxford International Conference for Education and Development, 9 - 13 September 1999. Oxford University, United Kingdom.Google Scholar
  35. Toolan, M. (1997). What is critical discourse analysis and why are people saying such terrible things about it? Language and Literature, 6(2), 83-103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. University of Witwatersrand. (2003). HIV/AIDS and sexual behaviour among young South Africans: A national survey of 15 - 24 year olds . Reproductive Health Research Unit, Johannesburg, South Africa.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Labby Ramrathan
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations