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Ethics in Ethnography

A Mixed Methods Approach

Margaret D. LeCompte and Jean J. Schensul

This is Book 6 of 7 in the Ethnographer's Toolkit, Second Edition.

Ethics in Ethnography explores the burgeoning field of research ethics and addresses how both formal and informal ethical considerations underpin good ethnographic research.

Coming from the position that no particular research design is more or less prone to generate ethical issues, LeCompte and Schensul open this volume with a short history of formal oversight for human research and address the formal ethical responsibilities incumbent upon researchers. Next, they consider how informal or “everyday” ethics affect researchers’ daily interactions in the field. In recognition of the shift toward team-based field research, the authors pay special attention to ethics related to collaborative research. The book concludes with an examination of new challenges and issues ranging from new field realities to the ethics of interpreting research results. As with all books in the series, this title features case studies, checklists, key points to remember, and additional resources to consult; the result is a uniquely detailed and eminently useful introduction to the ethical conduct of ethnography.

Other books in the set:

Book 1:
Designing and Conducting Ethnographic Research: An Introduction, Second Edition
by Margaret D. LeCompte and Jean J. Schensul

Book 2:
Initiating Ethnographic Research: A Mixed Methods Approach
by Stephen L. Schensul, Jean J. Schensul, and Margaret D. LeCompte

Book 3:
Essential Ethnographic Methods: A Mixed Methods Approach, Second Edition
by Jean J. Schensul and Margaret D. LeCompte

Book 4:
Specialized Ethnographic Methods: A Mixed Methods Approach
edited by Jean J. Schensul and Margaret D. LeCompte

Book 5:
Analysis and Interpretation of Ethnographic Data: A Mixed Methods Approach, Second Edition
by Margaret D. LeCompte and Jean J. Schensul

Book 7:

Ethnography in Action: A Mixed Methods Approach
by Jean J. Schensul and Margaret D. LeCompte
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AltaMira Press
Pages: 396Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7591-2209-3 • Paperback • March 2015 • $37.95 • (£24.95)
978-0-7591-2210-9 • eBook • March 2015 • $35.95 • (£24.95)
Margaret D. LeCompte is professor emerita of education and sociology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Jean J. Schensul is founding director and senior scientist at the Institute for Community Research, Hartford, Connecticut.
List of Examples
Introduction to the Ethnographer’s Toolkit
1—Ethics and Ethnography
What Are Ethics?
What Are Research Ethics?
Ethics in Social Science Research
What Is a Human Subject?
Ethics and Epistemology: Do Ethnographers Face Greater
Ethical Challenges Than Other Types of Researchers?
Confronting the Stereotype of Scientific Neutrality
Formal Research Ethics and Everyday Research Ethics
2—The Evolution of Formal Concerns about and Ethical Principles Governing Human Research
The Origins of Formal Oversight
Medical Research and Risk to Human Subjects
Social Science Research and Risks to Human Subjects Disciplinary Codes of Ethics and the Problems of Enforcement
The Belmont Report 1978
The Belmont Principles
3—Formal and Semiformal Responsibilities
Semiformal Responsibilities
Formal Contractual Responsibilities
When Is IRB or IEC Approval Necessary?
Issues of Particular Concern to IRBs and IECs
Levels of Review
Components of an IRB Proposal
The Power of Institutional Review Boards and Institutional Ethics Committees
Coping with Multiple IRBs
4—Informal Ethics: The Implications of Researcher Roles and Characteristics
The Embedded Contexts and Multiple Roles of Ethnographic Work
Being a Learner
Creating a Field Identity
Coping with Relationships in the Field: Personal Characteristics, Asymmetrical Relationships, and Positionality
Personal Friendships in the Field
5—Informal Ethics: Long-Term Relationships and Reasonable Responsibilities
Introduction: Feasible and Possible Responsibilities
Coping with Associations in the Field: Affiliations and Sponsorships
Maintaining Good Relationships
Coresearchers and Research Partners
Negotiating an Exit and Leaving the Field
Reciprocity and Feedback
Dissemination and Disposition of Data
Assuring Program Continuation
6—Ethical Issues in Ethnographic Teamwork and Community-Based Research
Ethical Considerations in Intrateam Interactions
Ethical Considerations in Team Interaction with Study Communities/Sites and Participants
Protecting the Study Community
7— Going Beyond Belmont: New Issues and Challenges
Challenges to IRB “Surveillance” and Control Contesting Western Epistemological and Ontological Hegemony
Redefining Key Terms in the Twenty-First Century
Obtaining Consent
Exposure to Risks and New Forms of Vulnerability
Technology and Retrievability of Information
Ethics and the Consequences of Interpretation
8—The Role of Reflection in Ethnographic Research
Introduction: What Is Reflection?
Identifying Subjectivities
Positionality and Power
The Risks of the “Other”
Taking Stock
Appendix A: IRB Proposals
Appendix B: Consent Forms and Assent Forms
About the Authors
I highly recommend this book for the introductory-level classroom, but it is also great for professionals. The sample cases throughout the book are especially useful for instruction. Overall, the second edition of the Ethnographer’s Toolkit is perfectly titled for the basic skills it outlines for the novice researcher, as well as providing an appropriate checklist for the more experienced researcher, whether an anthropologist or other professional using ethnography as a major research tool.
Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, Rhode Island College; author of Ethics and Anthropology

The Ethnographer's Toolkit series is designed with the novice fieldworker in mind, taking the reader through the multiple, complex steps of doing ethnographic research in simple, reader-friendly language.

Case studies, checklists, key points to remember, and additional resources to consult are all included to help the reader fully understand the ethnographic process.

The Toolkit is the perfect starting point for professionals in diverse professional fields in social welfare, education, health, economic development, and the arts, as well as for advanced students and experienced researchers unfamiliar with the demands of conducting good ethnography.

Book 6—Ethics in Ethnography—is completely new to this second edition of the Toolkit, and provides advice and insight on the burgeoning field of formal and informal research ethics.

Book 6 includes chapters addressing the special considerations needed for ethical procedures in team and collaborative research.

Book 6 also examines how the research environment has evolved, mandating new procedures for complying with ethical principles.