I’m studying for my Sociology class and need an explanation.
“The American Sociological Association, or ASA, is the major professional organization of sociologists in North America. The ASA is a great resource for students of sociology as well. The ASA maintains a code of ethics—formal guidelines for conducting sociological research—consisting of principles and ethical standards to be used in the discipline. It also describes procedures for filing, investigating, and resolving complaints of unethical conduct.” -(Chapter 2, page 46, textbook)
For this discussion, please consider the following scenario:
A sociologist is interested in learning about the homeless population in New York City. She (or he) decides to follow through on her (or his) idea by conducting fieldwork. The researcher dresses as a homeless person would (using stereotypes), pretends she (he) is homeless (by fabricating stories of how they got there / their experiences), and lives among the homeless population for a significant amount of time (without any obvious resources).
Is this type of research study ethical? Why or why not? Explain.
Discuss some advantages and disadvantages of the described study.
Would you be willing to participate in a similar research study, if you knew it would initiate programs to reduce homelessness in New York City?