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Table of Contents

  1. Key questions
  2. Example of harm from social science research -
  3. Research merit and integrity
  4. Justice
  5. Special protections for vulnerable communities
  6. Ethics Controversies: Case Studies - Debates about the ethics of the Tearoom Trade Study Methodology
  7. Case 2: The Human Terrain System
  8. Informed consent
  9. Freedom from coercion
  10. Case 3: Gang Leader for a day
  11. When social scientists uncover crime through their research
    1. Confidentiality for research participants when crime occurs
  12. Other ethical problems in Venkatesh's research
  13. Responsibilities to people/cultures being studied
    1. Informed Consent
    2. Informed consent scenario
    3. Best practice:
    4. Protecting identities of participants
    5. Case Study
    6. Protecting identities of participants: scenario
  14. Do no harm: think about the ramifications of the research
  15. Reciprocity: paying people for their contributions
    1. Reciprocity and collaboration with the community you work with
  16. Intimacy in research: maintaining informed consent over time
    1. Case Study:
    2. Intimacy in ethnographic research: sex and the field
  17. Respect for persons:
  18. Protection from psychological or physical harm
  19. Intellectual property
  20. Summary of Principles of Ethical Research
  21. Council for International Organization of Medical Sciences (CIOMS)
  22. Death of Jesse Gelsinger (1999) Conflicts of Interest Example
  23. Respect for Persons
  24. Informed Consent
    1. Voluntariness
    2. Comprehension
    3. Disclosure
  25. Case Study: Study on Campus
  26. Informed Consent
    1. Consent Document 1
    2. Consent Document 2
  27. Requirements for documentation of informed consent
  28. Decisional Capacity
  29. Children's Participation in Research
    1. Lack of assent from a child
  30. Research with prisoners
  31. Community Consultation
  32. Beneficence
  33. Justice
  34. Compensation for Research Participation
    1. Avoiding undue inducement
    2. Case Study involving confidentiality of clinical data
  35. Confidentiality

Other ethical problems in Venkatesh's research

There were other ethical problems in Venkatesh's research. For example, he wanted to find out about the economic relations formed by individuals who do not have formal jobs. He found out that many of the gang members supplemented their income with different activity ranging from baby-sitting, carpentry, fixing cars in alleys to prostitution. The two individuals with most authority in this situation were J.T. the gang leader and Ms. Bailey who was the building manager who turned a blind eye to the gang's activities in return for payments and protection. Both of these individuals had given their blessing to the research project and found individuals for Venkatesh to interview. They were interested in the research and Venkatesh told them what he had found out about individuals' side businesses. Obviously, this is problematic because he has promised confidentiality to his participants and there is also a problem of the power relationship and potential coercion. Both J.T. and Ms. Bailey are very powerful individuals in the high rise and could use the information for their own purposes, to coerce other individuals.

Both J.T. and Ms. Bailey took a cut of any informal income made by these individuals in return for benefits such as security and access to some welfare. In a way in this underground economy they acted as a combination of police, social worker and tax collector. They were so interested in the results of Venkatesh's research so they could ensure they were getting their "due". Just as some people do not declare all their income to the government not everyone had been upfront with J.T. and Ms. Bailey about the amount they earned through these means. J.T. and Ms. Bailey subsequently demanded more money off them and they were furious with Venkatesh for sharing his research with them and refused to speak to him after that. Venkatesh said that after he realised why J.T. and Ms. Bailey were so interested he felt sick.