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The Ethics and Politics of Social Research

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Examples: Global Warming; Autism research Politics in Perspective Awareness of ideologies enriches the study and practice of social research methods. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Ethics and Politics of Social Research


1
Chapter 3
  • The Ethics and Politics of Social Research

2
Ethical Issues in Social Research
  1. Voluntary participation
  2. No harm to participants
  3. Anonymity and confidentiality

3
Ethical Issues in Social Research
  1. Deception must be justified by compelling
    scientific concerns.
  2. Researchers must be honest about their findings
    and research.

4
Ethical Issues in Social Research
  • Institutional Review Boards
  • Review research proposals involving humans so
    they can guarantee the rights and interests are
    protected.
  • Professional Codes of Ethics
  • Most professional associations have formal codes
    of conduct that describe acceptable and
    unacceptable professional behavior.

5
Ethical ControversyLaud Humphreys (1970)
  • Study of homosexual behavior in public restrooms.
  • Lied to participants by telling them he was a
    voyeur-participant.
  • Traced participants to their home and interviewed
    them under false pretenses.

6
Ethical Controversy Stanley Milgram (1960)
  • Study of human obedience.
  • Subjects had role of "teacher" and administered a
    shock to "pupils".
  • Pupils were actually part of the experiment.

7
Ethics and Politics of Social Research
  • Ethics deals mostly with methods used in
    research.
  • Politics deals with the substance and use of
    research.
  • There are no formal codes of accepted political
    conduct.

8
Project Camelot
  • Proposed research project concerning the topic of
    internal war within a nation.
  • The project was canceled and dismantled.
  • Science is neutral on topics of war and peace,
    scientists are not.

9
Politics in Perspective
  • Science is not untouched by politics.
  • Science proceeds in the midst of political
    controversy and hostility.
  • Examples Global Warming Autism research

10
Politics in Perspective
  1. Awareness of ideologies enriches the study and
    practice of social research methods.
  2. While researchers should not let their values
    interfere with their research, this does not mean
    that researchers should not express both their
    scientific expertise and personal values.

11
Extra Credit
  • Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative
  • www.citiprogram.org
  • Register your information (free for faculty,
    staff and students of member institutions)
  • Take the modules for the Social Sciences
  • Take the quizzes for each module (must score a
    70 to pass each module).
  • Print CITI Certificate and hand in at the
    beginning of class, May 8th
  • Replace 1 homework grade or 5 on 1 exam

12
Is It Ethical?
  • To be strategic in your relations with others?
  • To talk to people when they don't know you will
    be recording their words?

13
Is It Ethical?
  • To "pay" people with tradeoffs for access to
    their lives and minds?
  • To "use" people as allies or informants in order
    to gain entrée to other people or to elusive
    understandings?

14
Other Examples
  • Stanford Prison Experiment
  • http//www.youtube.com/watch?vFkmQZjZSjk4
  • Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment
  • http//www.cdc.gov/tuskegee/timeline.htm
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