Anthropologists who talk about ethics generally mean the code of practice drafted by a professional association for implementation by its members. As this book convincingly shows, such a conception is far too narrow. A more radical approach is to recognize that moral judgments are made at every juncture of scientific practice and they require a negotiation of responsibility with all stakeholders in the research enterprise.Embedding Ethics questions why ethics have been divorced from scientific expertise. Invoking different disciplinary practices from biological, archaeological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology, contributors show how ethics should be resituated at the heart of, rather than exterior to, scientific activity. Positioning the researcher as a negotiator of significant truths rather than an adjudicator of a priori precepts enables contributors to relocate ethics in new sets of social and scientific relationships triggered by recent globalization processes - from new forms of intellectual and cultural ownership to accountability in governance, and the very ways in which people are studied. Case studies from ethnographic research, museum display, archaeological fieldwork and professional monitoring illustrate both best practice and potential pitfalls.This important book is an essential guide for all anthropologists who wish to be active contributors to the discussion on ethics and the ethical practice of their profession.
Dr. Lynn Meskell is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University.
Professor Peter Pels is Professor in the Anthropology of Sub-Saharan Africa at the Universiteit Leiden, The Netherlands.
Introduction: Embedding Ethics
Lynn Meskell and Peter Pels
Part One: Rethinking Ethics
Your Body, My Property: The Problem of Colonial Genetics in a Post-Colonial World
The Promise and Perils of an Ethics of Stewardship
'Where There Aren't No Ten Commandments': Redefining Ethics during the Darkness in El Dorado Scandal
Anthropology's Malaysian Interlocutors: Towards a Cosmopolitan Ethics of Anthropological Practice
Joel S. Kahn
Part Two: Relocating Ethics in Current Research
Sites of Violence: Terrorism, Tourism and Heritage in the Archaeological Present
Pain, Politics, and the Epistemological Ethics of Anthropological Disciplinarity
Situational Ethics and Engaged Practice: the Case of Archaeology in Africa
Part Three: Exemplars and Warnings
A Science of the Gray: Malthus, Marx, and the Ethics of Studying Crop Biotechnology
Glenn Davis Stone
The Moralities of Exhibiting Indians
Solid Histories for Fragile Nations: Archaeology as Cultural Patrimony
Rosemary A. Joyce
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Wenner-Gren International Symposium Series
336pp, bibliography, index