Combines essays and case studies from eminent scholars including Steven Nugent, Marilyn Silverman and Veronica Strang.
Since the inception of their discipline, anthropologists have studied virtually every conceivable aspect of other peoples' morality - religion, social control, sin, virtue, evil, duty, purity and pollution. But what of the examination of anthropology itself, and of its agendas, epistemes, theories and praxes? In 1991, Raymond Firth spoke of social anthropology as an essentially moral discipline. Is such a view outmoded in a postmodern era? Do anthropological ethics have to be re-thought each generation as the conditions of the discipline change, and as choices collide with moral alternatives? The Ethics of Anthropology looks at some of these crucial issues as they reflect on researcher relations, privacy, authority, secrecy and ownership of knowledge. The book combines theoretical papers and case studies from eminent scholars including Lisette Josephides, Steven Nugent, Marilyn Silverman, Andrew Spiegel and Veronica Strang. Showing how the topic of ethics goes to the heart of anthropology, it raises the controversial question of why - and for whom - the anthropological discipline functions.
Chapter I Introduction - anthropologists and ethics. Part 1 Debates: "like a horse in blinkers" - a political history of anthropology's research ethics; "being there" - the magic of presence or the metephysics of morality; "clubbed to death" - anthropology, the Yanomami, science and ethics; "the blind men and the elephant" - the challenge of representing the Rwandan genocide. Part 2 Dilemmas: everyday ethics - a personal journey in rural Ireland, 1980-2001; "to tell or not to tell" - ethics and secrecy in anthropology and childbearing in rural Malawi; the construction of otherness in modern Greece - the state, the church and the study of religious minorities; an appropriate question? the propriety of anthropological analysis in the Austrailian political arena. (Part contents).