Ethical issues in cultural anthropology. “Those who confront violence with resistance-- whether it be cultural or political—do not escape unscathed from the terror and oppression they rise up against. The challenge of ethnography then, is to
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“Those who confront violence with resistance--
whether it be cultural or political—do not escape
unscathed from the terror and oppression they rise
up against. The challenge of ethnography then, is to
check the impulse to sanitize, and instead to clarify
the chains of causality that link structural, political,
and symbolic violence that buttresses unequal power
relations and distorts efforts at resistance
(Bourgois 2004: 433).
concern for the dignity and welfare of people and groups with whom we live, work and study.
suspicious of potentially hidden government research agendas with negative implications for people: Bourgois
open about research goals: to informants and institutions to insure continuation of research
dedication to an intellectually and institutionally viable profession
sharing information with the public
Do you agree with Bourgois that this guideline is contradictory to the actual research contingencies?
Do you think that this code of ethics could be a continuation of a Western centered discourse prevalent in anthropology throughout its history or not?
What are the contradictions between these ethical guidelines and our moral imperatives then?
Why should we take into consideration unequal power relations?
Can we reconcile the contradictions between social responsibility and the commitment of anthropology to institutional accountability?
What does Bourgois mean when he asserts that our studies among the poor and powerless could contribute to their empowerment?
Maintain your primary responsibility to the persons you are studying
Obtaining clear consent from informants for the collection of information (some of which is going to be sensitive)
Become aware that your presence will increase the dependency of he community on outside forces
Keep in mind your responsibility to contribute in some positive way to the community you are studying
Keep promises: to insure future access to the field