Ethics, Anthropology, and Adjudication

In my work as the chair of the Committee on Ethics (CoE) of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), I’ve noticed that a number of the “ethical queries” that the CoE receives are not about what researchers should do during fieldwork, but rather about what other colleagues and professionals have already done that is perceived to be […]

The Missing Ethics of Heritage

Ethics codes should play a key role in the education of future professionals.  Indeed, in teaching a capstone course for graduating seniors, I justify our multi-day exploration of ethics in part by referencing the Society for Applied Anthropology’s ethics code, which states in its principle 4 that “Our training should inform students as to their […]

Meeting the Ethical Responsibilities of Activist Research while on the Tenure Track

I consider myself an activist researcher whose research is embedded within a larger activist agenda that aspires to dismantle social inequality and improve the conditions of racialized communities. The question I have been grappling with for the past three years is how to balance the ethical responsibilities of being an activist researcher with the demands […]

Where We Draw the Lines

Weighing Commitments to Community and Heritage The AAA Statement of Ethics asks anthropologists to “do no harm,” an injunction that is deceptively simple. After all, anthropologists can rarely foresee or influence the potential consequences and unintentional impacts of their research. The AAA’s injunction therefore introduces thorny issues pertaining to the long-term effects of data—the maps, […]