Models of Ethical Decision Making in Anthropology
In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes:
Apply models of ethical decision making for resolving anthropological issues in complex social environments
Assess the ethical impact of biases on anthropological research and discoveries
Analyze how ethical decision making in anthropology impacts individuals and groups in both the present and future
Differentiate between western scientific methods and indigenous knowledge in cultural situations for their ethical application
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
I. Researching the Investment
In addition to the previous landowners, the private university, and the state government, you must select at least two more parties of stakeholders from the list above and research why they might be invested (culturally, politically, economically, personally, etc.) in the archaeological site(s).
A. Write a brief statement as to why you decided to research the potential interests of the two stakeholders you selected rather than the others in the list. Eliminate some of your own biases and objectively decide who would likely be the most invested in this discovery.
B. Determine which parties would be invested in which of the two sites and how this could affect your final resolution in the press conference. For example, UNESCO and the federal government might be more interested in controlling historical slave architecture, but the private university and state government see the Native American components to be more valuable for future planning.
C. Research: Perform a brief literature search (a minimum of two sources for each of the five parties: 1. the previous landowners; 2. the private university; 3. the state government; and two additional parties of your choosing) to further investigate the five stake-holding parties. Good sources will contain background information on the stakeholders, as well as relevant case study examples you can use to help justify your outcome.
i. Describe concerns you have with the ethical behaviors of each of the stakeholders based on your research. For example, during your investigation, you might find that your stakeholders have encountered something similar to the situation at hand, setting precedent for the resolution in your press conference.
D. Biases: For each selected stakeholder, you will need to research their history with similar archaeological finds to determine any potential biases. Determining these biases will aid you in informing your potential resolution.
i. Determine why the five stakeholder groups would want ownership of the archaeological find due to their own personal or professional biases. In your response, think about how subjectivity may or may not impact an ethical outcome.
ii. How might these biases of the five groups impact the ultimate goal of the archaeological discovery? Provide specific examples to support your response.
E. Discuss the similarities and differences with indigenous knowledge and Western scientific methods in researching why these parties would want ownership of the archaeological sites. Use cultural relativism to make a more thorough argument.
F. Based upon your previous research, select at least one perspective from a living cultural group directly represented in the archaeological find to help inform your resolution for the press conference.
G. Propose a potential resolution as to which party or parties have ownership of the archaeological find based on the findings in your research and the previously selected perspectives. This resolution will then be communicated in your press conference. Ensure that your resolution takes into consideration all of the potential issues and will create an ethically sound solution that best fits all invested parties.