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Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2120
David Walters

September 20, 2012 – SOAN2120 Last class.. Milgram experiments Social experiment? Obedience Ethics in Field Research Humphries, L (1970) Tearoom trade (homosexual encounters in public bathrooms) - lookout - recorded license plates - follow-up interview Findings? - typical people - professionals, doctors, teachers, etc. - many were actually heterosexual people married with kids Issues? - informed consent o studying people behind their backs… no idea they were a part of a study - consequences if confidentiality violated - consequences for Humphries – couldn’t get PhD from U. of Chicago Research Ethics - privacy o sensitive questions – values, beliefs, backgrounds o observation – especially if we observe them w/o them knowing - informed consent o deception – they don’t know true purpose of experiment so they do not modify behaviour accordingly - anonymity o more strict of the two (confidentiality being the other) – no way we can figure out who these people are - confidentiality o we know their identities but we keep their information secret Implications of Past Research - code of ethics (review boards) - principles to guide ethical human experimentation (code of conduct for ethical research) o The fundamental principle is respect for the individual, their right to self determination and the right to make informed decisions regarding participation in research. The investigator’s duty is solely to the participant or volunteer, and while there is always a need for research, the subject’s welfare must always take precedence over the interests of science and society, and ethical considerations must always take precedence over laws and regulations. The recognition of the increased vulnerability of individuals and groups calls for special vigilance. It is recognized that when the research participant is incompetent, physically or mentally incapable of giving consent, or is a minor, then allowance should be considered for surrogate consent by an individual acting in the subjects best interest. In which case their consent should still be obtained if it all possible. - The bottom line o Research: cost-benefit analysis  Moral versus knowledge o This applies only to independent research o Institutional control  Conservative (moral and legal considera
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