[URBANTH-L]RE: a question concerning methods/ethics

Kathy Nadeau kmnadeau at gmail.com
Thu Jul 30 11:01:19 EDT 2009

I agree with Robert that protecting our partners of study is very  
important and they may not know possible repercussions. The possible  
exceptions being when the topic is NOT going to put them in jeopardy  
such as the comfort women who have come forward, since no one is going  
to go after them now, rather emoting may be part of their healing  
process.  Informants such as farmers in the countryside or insiders  
standing up for what they believe is right who are in a situation that  
may bring them harm later on by the State, military, or others when  
politics change may not realize the full extent of the danger they may  
be placing themselves in by going public.  On the other hand, sometime  
being bold is a positive thing and one wants to be named and known for  
their viewpoints.  So, it is important to fully inform our informants  
and to make difficult decisions using our complex analytical skills  
and knowledge on a case by case basis.

Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D
Department of Anthropology
California State University
San Bernardino, CA 92407
knadeau at csusb.edu
Office: 909-537-5503

On Jul 30, 2009, at 6:31 AM, Lawless, Robert wrote:

> Don't do it. The informant may not realize what use could be made of  
> the published item. Ethics require that you protect your informants;  
> they are not in charge of your ethics. It's your "book, article  
> whatever," and you have the final say in this matter.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: urbanth-l-bounces at lists.ysu.edu [mailto:urbanth-l-bounces at lists.ysu.edu 
> ] On Behalf Of Fethi Keles
> Sent: Friday, July 24, 2009 11:41 AM
> To: URBANTH-L at lists.ysu.edu
> Subject: [URBANTH-L]a question concerning methods/ethics
> Friends,
> I would like to receive opinions on the following issue, if possible.
> What most everyone does when we write things up is to change names  
> and use pseudonyms etc. etc. But, what do you do if an informant a)  
> specifically asks to be identified with his/her actual name in your  
> study (book, article whatever) b) says s/he doesn't care/wouldn't  
> mind if you were to use his/her actual name?
> I feel the answer to this must be more than 'well go ahead and do as  
> s/he says', for there could be a whole lot of other implications if  
> one does so. Any readings you would suggest? What courses of action  
> would be on the table in the two cases above?
> Any thoughts will be appreciated. Thank you.
> Fethi Keles
> PhD Candidate in Cultural Anthropology
> Maxwell School
> _______________________________________________
> URBANTH-L mailing list
> URBANTH-L at lists.ysu.edu
> http://lists.ysu.edu/mailman/listinfo.cgi/urbanth-l
> _______________________________________________
> URBANTH-L mailing list
> URBANTH-L at lists.ysu.edu
> http://lists.ysu.edu/mailman/listinfo.cgi/urbanth-l

More information about the URBANTH-L mailing list