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Chapter 11

Chapter 11- Research Ethics.docx

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Western University
Sociology 2206A/B
Stacey Hallman

 Every phase of research has ethical issues, how they are handled affects the integrality of specific research initiatives as well as the reputation of the social sciences as a whole,  First priority of a social researcher should to be ensure that the people being studied are not harmed in participating o Similar to fundamental principle “First do no harm”  First means that the prevention of harm should override any other goal  What it means is that welfare of research subjects should take priority over everything else, including the acquisition of knowledge even if that knowledge would expand our understanding of humanity or lead to improvements in human condition  This principle conflicts with the concept of academic freedom  Minimizing risks of participation and striking a proper balance between the risks and benefits of research is compatible with social scientists freedom to choose the topics of their research and within reasonable bounds, the methods to be used.  What if situation in which some temporary deception is necessary to create research temporary deception is necessary in order to create research environment comfortable for people. These grey areas are discussed by researchers o In Canada most general principles follow TCPS2 (CIHR, NSERC, AND SSHRCC 2010) o Research in Canada is also subject to Canadian Law, in particular the Charter of Rights and Freedoms o Before research can be conducted (REB) Research Ethics Board must review and approve the project o REB must abide by TCPS2 in making judgments  Van den Hoonaard suggested more difficult to get approvable for qualitative research than for quantitative studies  Qualitative considered less scientific than the quantitative kind, and ethics committees may prefer epistemology of the latter  One REB allowed a researcher to go ahead with her ethnographic work but required that she turn her head when someone who had not explicitly agreed to be part of the study entered her field of vision General Ethical Principles TCPS2 outlines three principle of respect for persons maintains that humans should not be treated as mere objects or means to an end: respect for persons, wel
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