Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ethics Yes, IRBs No

The blog "Law and Letters" features a posting from "Belle Lettre" entitled Venkatesh's Gang Leader For a Day and IRBs. The author asks whether the ethical problems raised by Sudhir Venkatesh's book form an argument for IRB review of ethnography.

As the comments make clear, however, Lettre has uncritically equated IRB-approved research and ethical research. IRB critics do care about research ethics, but we question whether IRB review is either necessary or sufficient to ensure adherence to scholarly ethics and the law.

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