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SOC 101 Monday, March 1 Lecture OutlineEthics in Sociological ResearchSOC 101 Monday, March 1 Lecture OutlineEthics in Sociological ResearchResearch ethics require sociologists to follow guidelines that call for openness, honesty,truth, and the protection of research subjectsLandmark social sciences studies such as Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment and Humphreys's Tearoom Trade study , made it clear that social and behavioral research may carry risks of harm related to psychological well-being , violations of autonomy and privacy, and reputational damage.Laud Humphreys tearoom study, In his book Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places (1970), the researcher observed men meeting other men for casual sexual encounters in public restrooms. Humphreys gained the confidence of the men by pretending to be a participant and acting as a lookout. 1A year after completing the observational part of the study, Humphreys followed up with these subjects, including them in a separate social health study that enabled him to conduct in-home surveys and gather data about their family relationships and religious background. “How could I approach these covert deviants for interviews? By passing as deviant, I had observed their sexual behavior without disturbing it. Now, I was faced with interviewing these men (often in the presence of their wives) without destroying them” (Humphreys 1970, 10).Although the resulting book may have been beneficial in dispelling some stereotypes, the research violated the autonomy of the individuals who became part of Humphreys's study without their knowledge.Research subjects’ participation must be voluntary and informed Principle of Voluntary Consent = never force anyone to participate in a research study. Participants should explicitly and voluntarily agree to participate. Informed Consent = An agreement in which participants state they are willing to be in a study and they know what the research procedure will involve. 23Chapter 2: CultureWhat is culture? How do sociologists define norms, beliefs, and values?What is the significance of diversity in human cultures?What is the sociological significance of the mass media and popular culture? What do different sociological theories reveal about culture?What is Culture?A. Culture is defined as the language, beliefs, values, norms, behaviors, and even material objects passed from one generation to the next.1. Material culture—2. Nonmaterial culture—B. Culture provides a taken-for-granted orientation to life.1. We assume that our own culture is normal or natural; in fact, it is not natural, but rather is learned. It penetrates our lives so deeply that it is taken for granted andprovides the lens through which we perceive and evaluate things.2. It provides implicit instructions that tell us what we ought to do and a moralimperative that defines what we think is right and wrong.43. Coming into contact with a radically different culture produces “culture shock,”challenging our basic assumptions.4. A consequence of internalizing culture is ethnocentrism, It is functional when it creates in-group solidarity.But can be dysfunctional if it leads to discrimination against those who are different.The opposite of ethnocentrism is Cultural Relativism. 1. Because we tend to use our own culture as the standard, cultural relativismpresents a challenge to ordinary thinking.2. At the same time, this view helps us appreciate other ways of life.3. Robert Edgerton suggests developing a scale for evaluating cultures on their“quality of life.” He argues that those cultural practices that result in exploitationshould be judged as morally inferior to those that enhance people’s lives.Components of Symbolic CultureA. Sociologists sometimes refer to nonmaterial culture as symbolic culture.1. A central component of culture is the symbol—something to which people attachmeaning and use in communications.2. Symbols include gestures, language, values, norms, sanctions, folkways, andmores.GesturesLanguage Each word is a symbol to which a culture attaches a particular meaning. It is important because it is the primary means of communication between people.It allows human experiences to be cumulative; each generation builds on the5body of significant experiences that is passed on to it by the previous generation,thus freeing people to move beyond immediate experiences.It allows for a social or shared past. We are able to discuss past events with others.Language allows us to plan future activities It allows the exchange of perspectives (i.e., ideas about events and experiences).It allows people to engage in complex, shared, goal-directed behavior.The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis states that our thinking and perception not only areexpressed by language, but actually are shaped by language because we aretaught not only words but also a particular way of thinking and perceiving.Critics question whether language shapes one’s perception of reality or whether the culture shapes language. There is no disagreement that language has a strong influence on culture.Most likely scenario: Language and culture shape each other.Elements of Culture: values, norms, and sanctions.Values are the standards by which people define good and bad, beautiful andugly. Every group develops both values and expectations regarding the right wayto reflect them.Norms are the expectations, or rules of behavior, that develop out of a

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UB SOC 101 - Ethics in Sociological Research

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