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ETHICAL ISSUES AND OTHER THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

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Abstract

Ethnographic or cultural anthropology field schools often present students and faculty with numerous ethical issues or considerations. Many of these relate to students' behavior when participating in a program that extends beyond the normal classroom setting. For example, there are always concerns about student safety, health, and well-being as well as concerns for the safety, health, and well being of residents and citizens of the host community. In addition, there are concerns about the reputation of the program director, the program itself, and the relationships of other students in the program to their hosts. Sponsoring institutions also carry concerns about liability and reputation. To a large extent, this stems form the fact that fieldwork is a 24/7 commitment and students and faculty are, in a sense, always on stage. Students are often challenged by behavioral and social norms that are very different than their own. Finally, there are many concerns that arise related to the conduct of ethical research. This chapter discusses the many ethical issues that can arise during the course of the fieldwork experience, and provides examples of how these have been dealt with by experienced field school directors.

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