GS202 Chapter Notes -Situational Ethics, Paternalism, Informed Consent

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3 Feb 2013
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GS202 Tutorial Questions - Feb 1, 2013
Confidentiality and Pseudonyms
1. Key Issues:
- some people didn’t want to talk/ had been accused of witchcraft so he couldn’t ask them
- based on gossip and not measurable/ fact based info
- his abortion research overstepped local laws
- the names would have been traceable (easily figured out)
2. When might a pseudonym not be ethical
- he felt he had silenced the people of the area/ forced them to lose their voice
- they wanted their names printed because they wanted to live on after they died- it gave
them a history and something to be proud of
3. Do you agree with his pseudonym?
Yes.
- his promise of confidentiality overcomes his need for recognition
- it may not be normal but it can be seen as the right thing to do, he wanted to keep the
people anonymous
- the potential for the people to be recognized because of the university students make the
study too close to home
- I also agree with his situational ethics, in this case he believed it was the right thing to
do, therefore in the moment it was
- looking back if he had asked the participants the response would have been different but
based on the information he had it was important to keep the names from coming out and
he had to change is name to do so
Ethical Paternalism: protecting someone- raises the question of how someone should be
treated (ethically)
Anthropology in Prison
4. How does it change how we organize our research ethics?
- need to work around preconceived notions by the group (ex. Prisoners think the guards
are racist)
- only allows for a focus on the group, not surrounding groups + assumes who is in the
group
- work around existing racism/ biased (ex. Officer opinions)
5. Can we change racism or do we need to stay separate?
- I think it would be ideal to remove the racism while working with the guards and
prisoners
- but I doubt that would be possible because racism tends to be deeply integrated into
someone’s life and it would be a long psychological process to change how someone
thinks
- the research isn’t focused on changing someone’s opinion so if possible it might be
better to stay separate
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