Ethics

I found the quote that I once heard mentioned over drinks and have been search for on and off for nearly a year…

‘I have come to see that the time-honored practice of bestowing anonymity on our communities and informants fools few and protects none – save, perhaps, the anthropologist. And I fear that the practice makes rouges of us all – too free with our pens, with the government of our tongues, and our loose translations and interpretations of village live.’ (Scheper-Hughes 2001:12)

I will use pseudonyms in my work for everybody, except for those who want their real names used, because I think that is what university ethics committees like. I expect people will be able to recognise themselves and anybody else of interest, but there is no reason to make it easy for somebody to then look up in real life a person they have read about. However, this is all presuming that anybody will talk to me in the first place.

While I feel that my project is significant in that there is a real gap in the literature (and a blindness to the ideological agendas that such a gap serves), I guess it is my ethical responsibility to make sure my research goes some way not only to acknowledging but also towards addressing that gap. I think I am willing to work hard enough, but I have this fear that I am not going to target my work sufficiently and therefore end up with a few antidotes but no real data.

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