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What are the ethical issues that anthropologists and other social scientists should consider when conducting research with people? social science

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One ethical aspect of studying people is the degree to which one changes them by virtue of being with them at all.  Anthropologists who study people who have not been exposed to the modern world, for example, are running a very high risk of changing those whom they study simply by observing them and certainly by interacting with them.  Sociologists who study people have the same difficulty, even with populations who are part of the modern world.  You cannot enter into someone else's world without effectuating some change in that world. Those in these professions must weigh the need to learn against the ethical problem presented by studying human nature.  It is a dilemma! 

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