The Ethics of Social Research

The Ethics of Social Research : Fieldwork, Regulation, and Publication

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Social scientists are unprepared for many of the ethical problems that arise in their research, and for criticisms of their ethics that seem to ignore such cherished scientific values as objectivity and freedom of inquiry. Yet, they possess method ological talent and insight into human nature that can be used to understand and resolve these problems. The contributors to this book demonstrate that criticism of the ethics of social research can stimulate constructive development of meth odology. Both volumes of The Ethics of Social Research were written for and by social scientists to show how ethical dilemmas arise in the day-to-day conduct of social research and how they can be resolved. The topics discussed in the companion volume include ethical problems that arise in experiments and sample surveys; this book deals with the ethical issues involved in fieldwork and in the regulation and publication of research. With candor and humor, many of the contributors describe lessons they have learned about themselves, their methods, and their research participants. Collectively, they illustrate that both humanists and determinists are likely to encounter ethical dilemmas in their research, albeit different ones, and that a blending of deterministic and humanistic approaches may be needed to solve these dilemmas. The aim of this book is to assist investigators in preparing to meet some of the ethical problems that await the unwary. It offers perspectives, values, and guidelines for anticipating problems and devising solutions.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 187 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 10.92mm | 320g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1982
  • 187 p.
  • 1461257247
  • 9781461257240

Table of contents

I. Ethnographic Fieldwork and Beneficial Reciprocity.- 1. Harms, Benefits, Wrongs, and Rights in Fieldwork.- Comparing Experimental Research with Fieldwork.- Relations between Investigators and Investigated.- Relations between Fieldworkers and Informants.- Applying Kantian Ethics to Fieldwork.- Analyzing Wrongs.- Conclusions.- 2. Research Reciprocity Rather than Informed Consent in Fieldwork.- The Context of the Moral Challenge.- Openness, Deception, and Consent in Fieldwork.- The "Consent Process" in the Community Study.- The Relativity of "Informed".- Reseach Reciprocities.- 3. The Threat of the Stranger: Vulnerability, Reciprocity, and Fieldwork.- The Pain of Words and the Right of Refusal.- The Fear of Retaliation and the Problem of Fidelity.- The Plight of Survivors and the Promise of Advocacy.- The Face of Death and the Call of Compassion.- A Word of Summary and Acknowledgment.- 4. Risks in the Publication of Fieldwork.- Lessons in the Ethics of Publishing Fieldwork Exemplified by the Studies of Springdale and Plainville.- Scientific Responsibility.- Consent to Risk Violation of Confidentiality.- Publication of Secrets.- Guidelines for "Ethical Proofreading" of Fieldwork Manuscripts.- Directions for Future Research on the Ethics of Publishing Fieldwork.- II. The Roles of Social Scientists in Research Regulation and in Giving Social Science to Society via the Mass Media.- 5. A Proposed System of Regulation for the Protection of Participants in Low-Risk Areas of Applied Social Research.- Proposed Regulations.- Critique of Campbell and Cecil's Proposal: Subjects Need More Protection.- Critique of Campbell and Cecil's Proposal: Don't Throw Out the Baby with the Bathwater.- 6. Regulation and Education: The Role of the Institutional Review Board in Social Science Research.- The IRB and the Review Process: Examining the Research Proposal.- Communication between the Board and the Investigator.- Conclusion.- 7. Social Science in the Mass Media: Images and Evidence.- Research on the Process.- Research Needs.- Some Implications and Practical Suggestions.- Author Index.
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