You have learned about sociological research methods as a systematic and rigorous process. You were exposed to a variety of methods available to sociologists in order to best address research questions. According to the authors of your text,sociological research strives for objectivity in their research while recognizing that the personal values of the researcher may have some influence on the work. In this context, ethical consideration is an integral part of the methodology design and implementation. One important ethical consideration in doing sociological research includes protecting the welfare of groups and individuals with whom and on whom sociologists work or who are involved in sociologists’ research efforts
This week you were assigned an online article titled, “Code of Ethics and Policies and Procedures of the ASA Committee on Professional Ethics.” The article was taken from the American Sociological Association (ASA) website. ASA is a national organization for sociologists. Along with various academic and career resources related to the discipline of sociology, ASA has also developed a professional code of ethics that has set forth ethical standards that underlie sociologists’ professional responsibilities and conduct.
The following questions will examine your understanding of the importance of ethical considerations in conducting sociological research:
Suppose you are a researcher interested in marriage practices. Discuss the issues that might arise in conducting and reporting research on marriage traditions and practices in a different culture (e.g., different ethnic group, culture, sub culture or counterculture). How might your current beliefs and understanding of marriage influence the research process? List some personal and cultural biases that may hinder your ability to produce objective research.
Watch the BBC documentary (49 minutes long) on Phillip Zimbardo’s 1971 “Prison Experiment” at Stanford University. A
You can find the video at this link: http://www.schooltube.com/video/237e7769aa970bcec446/Zimbardo-Stanford-Prison-Experiment.
Answer the following ethical questions about this controversial social experiment:
What are some ethical standards for protecting research participants, as discussed in the ASA Code of Ethicsarticle?
Briefly talk about at least three ethical standards that pertain to the protection of human subjects.
How did Zimbardo’s experiment violate the standards to protect research subjects from harm and deception?
Discuss whether or not this experiment could be done today, and if not, what would have to be changed in the experiment to meet ethical standards.
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