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Ethics Task Force – Draft Principle: Ethical Dimension

Below you will find another draft principle for your review and comment.

As a reminder, the task force has been asked to undertake a thorough review of our current code of ethics, and to suggest revisions. We have begun a process of drafting revisions, and are asking for your involvement in that process.

When reading through the postings, please keep in mind: rather than incorporating all of the complexities and areas of concern — as well as all the unique concerns and situations particular to a given subdiscipline or context of anthropological practice — into a single document, we are seeking to identify broad principles applicable to all anthropologists, principles which will be supported by layers of additional resources–explanatory text, examples from different contexts or areas of practice, case studies, and resources from other disciplines. We are asking for your involvement in drafting and refining these principles. We want to use your comments and suggestions to both revise the principles as appropriate and to help us determine if we’ve captured the concerns of the members, on the one hand, and the demands placed on the code on the other.

As you read through our blog postings over the next several months, please:
   1. carefully read each principle as it is posted to the blog, paying attention to the content  and thinking about its relevance to your practice
   2. make relevant comments and suggestions on the blog site in a timely manner.  Feel free to share personal stories, case examples, competing interpretations, etc.
   3. pay attention to the ongoing conversations about the principles and do background reading if you are late to join the discussion of a particular topic

Thank you for being part of this important discussion.

The Task Force

Here is the next principle for your review and comment:

There is an ethical dimension to all our professional relationships.

Whether they work in academic or applied settings, anthropologists should strive to maintain respectful relationships with colleagues. In mentoring students, interacting with colleagues, working with clients, or supervising staff, anthropologists should comport themselves in ways that promote a supportive and sustainable workplace environment.

In their capacity as researchers, anthropologists are subject to the ethical principles guiding all scientific and scholarly conduct. They should not fabricate evidence, plagiarize the work of others, or otherwise knowingly misrepresent information. They should also be alert to the potential of bias to compromise the integrity of anthropological work. When they see evidence of research misconduct, they are obligated to report it. They should not obstruct the scholarly efforts of others when they are carried out responsibly.

In their role as teachers and mentors, anthropologists should provide instruction on the ethical responsibilities associated with every aspect of anthropological work. They should facilitate, and encourage their students to engage in, dialogue on ethical issues, and discourage their participation in ethically questionable projects. Anthropologists should publicly acknowledge student contributions to their research and writing, and compensate students justly for any assistance they provide. They should give students appropriate credit for the authorship of their ideas, and encourage the publication of worthy student work.

4 Responses

  1. Looks good to me.

  2. Just fine for an organization that is entirely voluntary and has no licensing capacity, no power, a limited voice that is rarely heard, and is in real danger of escalating irrelevance.
    I would like to suggest less obtuseness regarding work with the military and other organizations with innate and inevitable needs for secrecy and nationalism.

    • A bit late in two senses. My response here which is to concur 100%. And in the second sense, that Margaret Mead and the Ad Hoc Committee on Thai Case pointed this out in 1971. Welcome to Ground Hog Day.

  3. […] Ethics Task Force – Draft Principle: Ethical Dimension […]

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