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Why is it important that ethical issues are considered when a research study is being planned? Illustrate your answer with references to the research papers by Punch and Thorne

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Introduction

Why is it important that ethical issues are considered when a research study is being planned? Illustrate your answer with references to the research papers by Punch and Thorne Ethical issues in research began to be considered in the late 1940s when, following Nazi research, people became sensitive to research being more than about care. The Nuremberg Code of 1947 insisted that willing consent be sought by participants in order to carry out research. At the time children were not considered mature enough to consent and were not permitted to take part in any research they were not able to gain from. Many research projects must be approved by an ethics committee, but this is the not the case for all types of research. Medical and health related research is first approved by an ethics committee as it is accepted that medical research can be hazardous; for example, the introduction of a new drug. Whilst it could be argued that educational or social science research does not have the risks associated with it as some medical research, if the research process is flawed the outcomes could provide inaccurate information resulting in changes being implemented that do not offer benefits, or even put recipients at a disadvantage. It is also important to note that, unlike aspects such as data protection, there is often no legal obligation on researchers, or redress for the researched, relating to ethical issues. That is, a piece of research could be viewed as unethical, but not illegal, as ethics is defined as moral duty not to cause harm. ...read more.

Middle

She states "However the role of assistant teacher tended to reinforce power inequalities between myself and the children" (Punch, 2001, p.99) Thorne carried out all her research in school settings and was also aware of the issue of power imbalance. She attempts to minimise this by sitting at the back of class and not taking on a role of a teacher or an adult helper in the class. She sits with the children in class, although she does point out she does not have a regular place, and lunches with them. However, when a fight breaks out in class she assumes the position of an adult in authority by working with the teacher to stop it. In both Punch and Thorne's research, they considered the issues of power and how best to address them, which involved being with the children and joining in with their activities, which other adults did not participate. Where children view researchers in a position of power they may be reluctant to give them information, particularly information they do not wish to be given to other adults. If the researchers are perceived as having power over the researched, they may not trust them with confidential information. Punch was concerned about the ethical issues relating to power and she balanced this by respecting the confidentiality of the children. Whatever they told her, she respected and did not tell other adults. One example of this was when children went fishing when they were supposed to be looking after their mother's cows. ...read more.

Conclusion

Robinson (eds) Doing Research with Children and Young People, London: Sage in association with the Open University. Frosh, S., Phoenix, A., and Pattman, R. (2002) 'Young Masculinities' in S. Fraser, V. Lewis, S. Ding, M. Kellett, and C. Robinson (eds) Doing Research with Children and Young People, London: Sage in association with the Open University. Hey, V. (1997) 'The company She Keeps: an Ethnography of Girls' Friendships in S. Fraser, V. Lewis, S. Ding, M. Kellett, and C. Robinson (eds) Doing Research with Children and Young People, London: Sage in association with the Open University. Kehily, M. J., Mac an Ghaill, M., Epstein, D., and Redman, P. (2002) 'Private girls and public worlds: producing femininities in the primary school, in S. Fraser, V. Lewis, S. Ding, M. Kellett, and C. Robinson (eds) Doing Research with Children and Young People, London: Sage in association with the Open University. Punch, S. (2001) 'Negotiating Autonomy: Children's Use of Time and Space and Rural Bolivia in V. Lewis, M. Kellett, C. Robinson, S. Fraser, and S. Ding (eds) The Reality of Research with Children and Young People, London: Sage in association with the Open University. Robinson, C., and Kellett, M., (2004) 'Power' in S. Fraser, V. Lewis, S. Ding, M. Kellett, and C. Robinson (eds) Doing Research with Children and Young People, London: Sage in association with the Open University. Thorne, B. (1993) 'Gender Play: Girls and Boys in School' in V. Lewis, M. Kellett, C. Robinson, S. Fraser, and S. Ding (eds) The Reality of Research with Children and Young People, London: Sage in association with the Open University. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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