Sunday, November 28, 2010

The ethics of asking for disclosure

Since we did some reading on ethics this week, I've been thinking about some of the "ethics" of the methodologies I am proposing. None of them are unethical, really, so don't misunderstand me. But I do have the suspicion that my research could be seriously hindered by the necessity that I stick to all these pesky ethics rules.  It would be easier if we could all just be sneaky information detectives. I doubt that I'll be able to "build relationships" with market researchers, as Knight suggests, who seem to keep their cards pretty close to their chest and probably won't sit me down and explain to me exactly how they go about socially sorting their customer base. As Knight talks about "disclosure and harm", I realize that it's not the typical "disclosure" problems he lists that will be a problem for me, but rather an institutional problem. I've been thinking about this a lot lately because the "disclosure" issue will definitely prevent me from getting data in the way that would be most direct.

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