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The Ethics of Fieldwork Describes different ethical issues that may arise while performing an anthropological study, citing numerous examples from existing social science research.

4 Pages

Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1000
Judith Adler Hellman

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The Ethics of Fieldwork Research on a University CampusIssues that May be Faced by the AnthropologistEthnocentricity the tendency to perceive and evaluate the world in light of ones own cultural experience can be an issue in social anthropologyEg For a social anthropologist coming from a polygamous society the idea of a monogamous family would be strangeHow do we avoid thinking of people who are different from us as weirdIf we are judgemental about the practices that might keep us from understanding these practicesLongitudinal studies studies over a lengthy period of time pose unique problemsEg Going back to the same research site to see if people have transformed or not or keeping up with the family of Angel over the phoneResulting bias 1oAnthropologist George Foster studying village of Tzintzuntzan in the west of MexicooSent his graduate students there to study and established links with the villageoTzintzuntzaneans began coming to the States as undocumented migrantsResulting bias 2oMay later find results that contradict the hypothesis or earlier findings if Margaret Mead had gone back she may have obtained different results as the anthropologists who went to Samoa after her haveoAs a result may not get to say the things you really need to sayResulting bias 3oYou can like somebody so much because you are so grateful that the person you are following up with has reaffirmed you that you are not able to see the whole situationProblem of ReciprocityPeople not voicing their true concernsoHellman few people who really needed help went right out and asked for it due to a culture of prideResults of research can be unexpected
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