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Lecture 7

2Z03 Lecture 7 "Ethics & Politics of Social Research".docx

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Gerald Bierling

Fox 1 Lecture 7 SOCIOL 2Z03 Wednesday January 29, 2014 Ethical Issues in Research Voluntary Participation  No one should be forced to participate  Balance of science and ethics: -Can results be generalized if participation is voluntary? -Do people change their behavior if they know they are being observed? No Harm to Participants  People being researched should never be injured (Physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, Psychologically)  E.g, Zimbardo Prison Experiment, experiments on Canadian prisoners between 1955-75  Possible to eliminate 100% of risk?  Informed Consent-a norm in which subjects base their voluntary participation in research projects on a full understanding of possible risk involved Anonymity and Confidentiality  Anonymity-guaranteed a research project when neither the researchers nor the reasers of the findings can identify a given response with a given respondent  Confidentiality-guaranteed when the researcher can identify a given person’s responses but promises not to do so publicly  Sometimes data needs to be suppressed  The legal system, on occasion, threatens confidentially agreements between researcher and subject, eg. Ogden case in BC (assisted suicide) Deception  Deception within social research needs to be justified by scientific or administrative concerns  Debriefing-interviewing subjects to learn about their experience of participation in the project Analysis & Reporting  Ethical obligation to colleagues in the scientific community -All results must be reported (positive and negative) -All limitations must be admitted  Institutional Review Boards- a panel of faculty who review all research proposals involving human subjects so that they can guarantee that the subjects’ rights and interests will be protected  McMaster Research Ethics Board( MREB)  Professional Code of Ethics  Canadian Sociological Association, Code of Ethics Two Ethical Controversies  Trouble in the Tearoom-Laud Humphreys  Observing Human Obedience-Stanley Milgram The Politics of Social Research  The ethics of social research deals mostly with the methods employed  Political issues tend to center on the substance and use of research-e.g, race and IQ: 2011 Canadian Sensus  Objectivity and Ideology -Science achieves objectivity through inter-subjectivity -Yet socia
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