Research Ethics in Anthropology

In order to conduct modern social science research, one must communicate with people from all backgrounds. A cultural anthropologist is supposed to respect and safeguard the privacy of the research subjects at all times. According to the respect element, the protection should cover the things and occurrences that the subjects and other relevant stakeholders value. It is likely that the research in this situation will involve people and communities with fewer resources and restricted access to essential services like healthcare and education. Therefore, it is likely to be perceived that the researcher has greater relative power and control over the subjects.
Despite the relative economic power and control, I have to ensure that I demonstrate utmost respect and appreciation of the subjects’ values, personalities and culture. It is also upon me as a researcher to ensure that the individuals take part in the study after fully understanding the process that they will be taken through and the purpose of the whole procedure. Utilitarian risk-benefit analyses of research are important in aligning it with the universal ethical system (National Research Council and Sciences, Social, Committee on Population 59). I will use this model to determine the foreseeable harms and benefits that the research poses to the target sector. The institution will then be informed about these findings and given an opportunity to deliberate on whether the study is viable or not. The contributions of this board and other individuals such as colleagues and local administration will be incorporated into the procedure to ensure that there is minimal or no harm to the society. The input of these stakeholders is also important in drawing my attention to aspects that may be of benefit to the participants.

Works Cited

National Research Council and Sciences, Social, Committee on Population. “Determining Minimal Risk in Social and Behavioral Research.” (2014).

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