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ethical issues lecture 2.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough

What Is Old Is New Again  society is constantly changing—what was once popular can become outdates (especially in these technology times)  in terms of sociological statistics, some statistical information can quickly become outdated  in sociology, the underlying issues may remain unchanged, but the attitudes toward the unchanging issues may have changed  sociologists should retest an old hypothesis and revisit old studies to discover what’s new or what’s changed  however, sociologists shouldn’t revisit a questionable study if the methods and ethics involved are questionable The Clark Doll Experiment in 1939  Dr. Kenneth Clark and wife conducted a study about the racial biases among children in the USA, during the time when some schools in America were segregated by race  the experiment tested young black kids to determine how race related to their self-image  the experiment involved showing each child a white doll and a black doll, and giving instructions to the child in a particular order; the Clarks did this study on both children in segregated and non-segregated schools, and compared the results between the 2 groups  the research involved a series of questions in this order, in which a white skinned and black skinned doll were placed in front of the young black kids:  show me the doll you like best/you’d like to play with  show me the doll that is the “nice” doll  show me the doll that looks “bad”  give me the doll that looks like a “white child”  give me the doll that looks like a “coloured child”  give me the doll that looks like a “Negro”  give me the doll that looks like you  in most of the cases, the last question caused anxiety among the subjects—many of the kids chose the white doll as the “nice” one, so by the last question, they were obviously anxious (some cried and ran away)  in a related task, Kenneth Clark asked the kids to draw a picture of them self—most chose a lighter shade than their actual skin tone  Clark Doll studies found that children attending segregated schools more likely to pick the white doll as “nice”  Clarks concluded that children internalized racism caused by the discrimination that occurred through segregation  this conclusion was presented in the US Supreme Court which ruled segregation was unconstitutional  some believe that Clarks were motivated by their own bias in wanting to prove that black kids internalized racism from segregated schools  CNN Doll
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