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Ethics of Fieldwork & Study of Gangs Continuation of Feb. 7th note, as well as the introduction to Jankowski's material about gangs.

Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1000
Judith Adler Hellman

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Feb. 14, 2011
Part I: The Ethics of Fieldwork Cont’d
Ethical Issues
Dissimilation (lying): Is it ever acceptable to dissimilate?
Rosenhan and his infiltration of pseudo-patients into the hospital,
is this kind of lying justified by the need to study these large and
impenetrable institutions?
Moffat got the permission from the university before he did the
study; Rosenhan got the permission of the absolute head of the
hospitals he was studying, but no one under the head of the
hospitals knew that he was infiltrating with false patients
People who are being tricked may or may not want to be studied
in a certain way; the students are happy to be studied because
they feel special, feel affirmed, feel like somebodies; there are
even people who tell him things, like their sexual adventures,
how they have cheated on a test, and make racist comments in
front of him, why do they tell him these things? Diceyness of
studying these students
Some studies cannot be conducted without deceit
oLinguists notice that when they tell someone that they
would like to study their accent, people alter their
speech to make their accent seem less noticeable.
Therefore, the linguists have to ask indirect questions:
to tell them stories about the country they come from,
their families, etc. When they talk about their
background, they are more likely to give full expression
of their accent because they are going back in time and
oThe Neew York Times experiment of the effects of
multitasking while eating
Are these areas of research that we simply cannot touch?
Can we study racism? Yes: researcher found that people with a
certain accent over the phone are more likely to get a certain
Child pornography: Hard to study because it is consimed in a
secretive way.
Studying fascist/skinhead groups: Not many people have studied
Gang rape: hard to study this, need to be able to observe the
criminal behaviour without calling the police
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