Anthropologists Ethical Issues John R. Hunt Human Behavior Perspective Module 1 Professor Dan Moore September 4, 2011 Anthropology has been known as a study of an infinite curiosity about humans. Not only concerned with an interest in human beings and their development’s, Anthropology is a much broader concept of trying to understand the relationships between human beings and all possible questions about them such as where we came from and where we may be going. It’s the understanding that all aspects of human beings through discovery, study, interpretation and inference of past and present cultural characteristics.
After gathering all kinds of different knowledge, you can gain a better understanding of individuals in society, regardless of the resulting conclusion being either right or wrong. In this paper I will be talking about the ethical issues that Anthropologists and other social scientists consider when conducting research with people and why a code of ethics is important for social scientists. What is Anthropology? It is defined as ‘the study of cultural diversity’, or simply ‘the study of humankind’. Writing for Students, 2011) Anthropology is a multidisciplinary field of science and scholarship, which includes the study of all aspects of humankind; archaeological, biological, linguistic and sociocultural. (Code of Ethics of the American Anthropological Association , 2011) There are so many different and important obligations that Anthropologists are faced with. Anthropologists primary responsibility is to “the people, species, and materials that they study and to the people with whom they work with. American Anthropological Association Code of Ethics, 2011) No matter how difficult the research seems they are to follow the Code to gather information and to resolve all the information that they are studying. The principles and guidelines in the Code provide the anthropologist with tools to engage in developing and maintaining the ethical framework for all anthropological work. (Code of Ethics of the American Anthropological Association, 2011) Some of the ethical issues that Anthropologists and other social scientists should consider hen conducting research with people; that the work that they are doing be truthful and they should provide as much useful information as possible to follow their research. Anthropologists spend so much time gathering information, reviewing what they have found and also seeing what the outcome may become. So why would a Code of Ethics be important for social scientist you may ask? Well with the Code of Ethics comes a layout or in other words a step by step way of studying research and what is expected of you and the decision that you come up with.
The purpose of the Code is to provide guidelines for making ethical choices in the conduct of their anthropological work because they can seem to find themselves in complex situations and subject to more than one code of ethics, the American Anthropological Association Code of Ethics provides a framework, not an ironclad formula, for making decisions. (Code of Ethics of the American Anthropological Association , 2011) It’s very important that there be a Code of Ethics of social scientist. “With no Code of Ethics or set of guidelines can anticipate unique circumstances or direct actions in specific situations.
The individual anthropologist must be willing to make carefully considered ethical choices and be prepared to make clear assumptions, facts and issues on which those choices are based. In conclusion even though it is hard to write a very specific code that we can use for social control but the code of ethics that is put into place can help improve anthropological practice. When the perception is attempting to improve the practice and using the code as a method to improve and regulate behavior then a code can vastly improve sensitivity to rofessional conduct. Reference Hand Book on Ethical Issues In Anthropology J. Cassell The Ethnography of Moralities Signe Howell Work Cited Title: Code of Ethics of the American Anthropological Association http://www. aaanet. org/committees/ethics/ethics/ethcode. htm Title: Writing for Students- Anthropology Research Paper http://writing4students. blogspot. com/2010/02/anthropology-research-paper. htm Title: American Anthropological Association Code of Ethics http://www. ehow. com/about_6546923_american-anthropological-association-code-ethics. htm