Seduction of Ethics: Transforming the Social Sciences
Formal research-ethics committees in Canada now function as an industry, costing over thirty-five million dollars annually. The Seduction of Ethics argues that while ethics codes are alluring to the public, they fuel moral panic and increase demands for institutional accountability. Will C. van den Hoonaard explores the research-ethics review process itself by analysing the moral cosmology and practices of ethics committees regarding research and researchers.
The Seduction of Ethics also investigates how researchers have tailored their approaches in response to technical demands — leading social science disciplines to resemble each other more closely and lose the richness of their research. Van den Hoonaard reveals an idiosyncratic and inconsistent world in which researchers employ particular strategies of avoidance or partial or full compliance as they seek approval from ethics committees.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 392 pages
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.2in x 9.3in
Reviews‘The Seduction of Ethics is a powerful, combined-arms assault on the system of ethics review of the social sciences.’
Zachary M. Schrag
Contemporary Sociology; vol 41:05:2012
‘Van den Hoonaard offers a remarkable study from the methodological point of view… Hoonaard’s contribution to the debate on approaches to ethical governance in the social sciences demarcates a new stage.’
Transnational legal Theory, vol 4:01:2013
‘The Seduction of Ethics is an easily-read volume suitable for students, professionals, and even lay readers…The logic is flawless, the data are compelling, and – above-all the reader is left with a sense that things can be changed.’
Symbolic Interaction, Online - February 2014
‘Seduction of Ethics is grounded in a solid theoretical and conceptual framework. The logic is flawless, the data are compelling, and above all the reader is left with a sense that things can be changed.’
Symbolic Interaction, vol 37:02:2014
‘The Seduction of Ethics is a significant work on a timely, important topic namely, the nature, outcomes, and unintended consequences of social science research ethics reviews. Will C. van den Hoonaard uses evidence-based analysis to move dialogue on these concerns from the informal to the formal, which is important to the ongoing development of research management and oversight processes. The Seduction of Ethics provides much for researchers and those participating in and providing support for research ethics boards to chew on.’
Tim McTiernan, Assistant Vice-President, Government, Institutional, and Community Relations, University of Toronto; formerly Assistant Vice-President, Research and Executive Director, The Innovations Group, University of Toronto
‘Sociologist and ethnographer Will C. van den Hoonaard has contributed immensely to social science as a researcher, teacher, and participant in the drafting of ethical guidelines for governing social research. When such an eminent sociologist invites examination of ethics and regulations of social research, what better way to do so than to present an ethnography of problematic decisions by ethics committees? This book will be an invaluable resource to research administrators, ethics committees, social researchers, and commissions seeking to find ways to revise the regulatory structure in a way that is fair and conducive to the conduct of social research.’
Joan Sieber, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics
Author InformationWill C. van den Hoonaard is a professor emeritus in the Department of Sociology at the University of New Brunswick.
Table of contents
Figures and Tables
Premise of The Seduction of Ethics
Ignorance and Scholarship
The Scholarship on the Metabolism of Research-Ethics Review
Outline of The Seduction of Ethics
- AN ARCHEOLOGY OF RESEARCH-ETHICS REVIEW
Outside the Ethics Regime: What Drives the System of Ethics Review?
Inside the System: Institutionalization of Research-Ethics Review
- THE CRITICISMS OF RESEARCH-ETHICS REVIEW
Does the Ethics Regime Offer an Inappropriate Model for Social Science Research?
Is Research Ethics Strangling Legitimate Research?
Does Ethics Review Curtail Academic Freedom?
Are Ethics Committees Bureaucracies?
Does Ethics Review Develop and Maintain the Hegemony of Ethics Committees?
Attempts to Negotiate the Two Worlds and Transcend the Criticisms: The Perspectives of Ethics Committees
- WHAT IS THE NORMATIVE ETHICS FRAMEWORK FOR SOCIAL RESEARCHERS?
The ‘Subject’ in International and National Research-Ethics Codes
Bursting the Contemporary Ethics Bubble: Three Case Studies
- STRUCTURE AND COMPOSITION OF RESEARCH-ETHICS COMMITTEES
Ethics Committees as Part of the University
Jurisdictional Power and Independence
- THE MORAL COSMOLOGY OF THE ETHICS-REVIEW WORLD
About Research Participants
- PROCEDURAL ROUTINES: THE APPLICATION FORM AND THE CONSENT FORM
The Application Form
The Consent Form
- THE MEETING: MAKING AGENDAS AND DECISIONS
Attendance and Membership
The Career of the Agenda
Paradigms and Perspectives that Shape the Conversation about Ethics
Making Decisions without Principles
- AN IDIOSYNCRATIC AND INCONSISTENTWORLD: COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN REBS AND RESEARCHERS
Interpretation as the Basis of Idiosyncrasies and Inconsistencies
Communications to Researchers/Language of (Dis)approval
REB Communications inside the Larger Context of the Ethics Regime
- THE UNDERLIFE OF RESEARCH-ETHICS REVIEW: PREPARING AN APPLICATION
The ‘Hurt Perspective’
The Researcher’s Moral Career
Warming up (or Not) to Submitting the Proposal
Preparing for the ‘News’
- SECONDARY ADJUSTMENTS BY RESEARCHERS
Reactions by Researchers to Ethics Reviews
Applying Secondary Adjustments
The Social Situation of Students in the Ethics-Review Process
- THE BELEAGUERED METHODS
General Considerations about Redirecting Research
The Declining Use of Particular Methods
- ON THEORY, TOPICS, AND FAVOURED METHODS
PrizesSociety for the Study of Symbolic Interaction Charles Horton Cooley Award - Commended in 2012
Subjects and Courses