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Lecture 18

SOC221H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: Laud Humphreys, Research

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Shyon Baumann

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March 28th 2019
SOC221 Lecture 11
Ethical Issues in Social Research
Research and Ethics
Ethical concerns over the purpose of research findings
Ethical concerns over the process of research
Early incidents opened the conversation about standards. More recent incidents
Ethics are Relative
Ethics: morality, principles, beliefs, standards about right and wrong
Ethical standards are relative to place and time
Evolution of understanding of human rights
Who Decides What is Ethical?
The Tri-Council Working Group
Councils are the federal granting agencies
The Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS) created in 1998; revised in 2010 (TCPS
2 (2010)) and 2014 (TCPS 2 (2014))
Guiding principles of the TCP
1. Respect for persons
2. Concern for welfare
3. Justice
How do we enforce research ethics
Imposition of standards via research funding
Research Ethics Boards make local decisions
Who Is Vulnerable?
How should we define vulnerable. Is vulnerability an inherent quality of people?
Or is vulnerability a quality that can apply to anyone in the right context?
Ethical Standards In Social Research
Voluntary Participation
No Harm to Participants
Analysis and Reporting
Anonymity and Confidentiality
Ethical Standards: Voluntary
Tearoom Trade
Researcher: Laud Humphreys (1970)
Research interest: homosexual behaviour
Specifically, casual same-sex acts by male strangers meeting in
the public restrooms in parks
Participant observer
Acted as the “watch queen”
Using licence plate numbers, traced the men to their residence to conduct
a “pretend” health survey
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