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MED2000 Research Techniques and Approaches For Social Research

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1. What is ethics in social research? How can we define it?

2. How an ethical research should be conducted?

3. Which can be the dilemmas/problems implicated?


Ethics in Social Research

Ethics comprises of a self-regulatory discipline and has to be integrated in social research (Neuman, 2012). While conducting any sort of research, a scholar needs to maintain all sorts of ethical roles and responsibilities. Especially in case of social research, ethics allows to set up codes of principles and practices that allows adherence of proper techniques and methodologies in conducting the study. Ethics becomes highly important while dealing with human subjects to maintain dignity and clarity in research. The field of social research deals with collecting data systematically and then analyzing information such that increased understanding of various phenomenon can be made (Bernard, 2012).    

Scholars have various ethical concerns while dealing with human subjects especially during interviews, surveys, case studies, focus groups, observations and so on. A system while collecting of data needs to be followed that does not harm the subjects within the consideration of the study (Babbie, 2015). Scholar while conducting any sort of data collection technique has to communicate the aims and objectives of the study. Further, scholar needs to also maintain privacy and security of all data supplied to him such that ethical considerations can be met. There should not be any misconception regarding presentation of facts and figures to subjects while conducting research that can lead to potential conflict, mislead participants of the research. A scholar needs to always warn subjects of any potential danger as the case may be within the scope of the research work (Love, 2012).  

Dilemmas in ethical research 

There are various pertinent dilemmas that can arise in the field of social research, which a scholar can face during the conduct of his work. While progressing in any research work there might be various dilemmas or ethical experiences that might arise which might hamper the progress or findings of the research (Seger, 2016). The various forms of ethical dilemmas are written consent. While taking feedback or response for the subject of the research there might be no written consent obtained. At any instance during the research an ethical dilemma might arise which raises a pertinent question that a written consent from the subject had to be obtained for using their feedback on the study. Another prominent ethical dilemma is ensuring understanding; the role of every scholar is to ensure that all respondents of the study understand the objectives of the research. Data sharing is another relevant ethical dilemma often faced by scholars wherein, interviews and surveys of various researches of companies have to be shared in the study. But for such data sharing a statement of reference and permission needs to be incorporated in the study. Destroying data is another aspect of a study where an ethical dilemma can arise, a scholar has to destroy data after his use such that such data cannot be reproduced by anyone for their research purposes and plagiarism can be avoided. Using of pseudonyms is often made to protect privacy of the respondents. This is a pertinent area of ethical dilemma wherein later it can be claimed that such names in actuality does not exists. The last and most important of all ethical dilemma is unintended consequences, where scholar needs to be aware of all consequences that might arise from the study.  

Reference Lists

Babbie, E. 2015. The practice of social research. Nelson Education.

Bernard, H. a. 2012. Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Sage.

Love, K. e. 2012. Ethics in Social research. Emerald Group Publishing.

Neuman, W. a. 2012. Basics of social research: Qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Seger, J. H. 2016. American Society of Bariatric Physicians obesity algorithm: adult adiposity evaluation and treatment. 2013.

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