Embedding Ethics: Shifting Boundaries of the Anthropological Profession

Overview

Embedding Ethics questions why ethics have been divorced from scientific expertise. Invoking different disciplinary practices from biological, archaeological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology, contributors show how ethics should be resituated at the heart of, rather than exterior to, scientific activity. Positioning the researcher as a negotiator of significant truths rather than an adjudicator of a priori precepts enables contributors to relocate ethics in new sets of social and scientific relationships ...

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Overview

Embedding Ethics questions why ethics have been divorced from scientific expertise. Invoking different disciplinary practices from biological, archaeological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology, contributors show how ethics should be resituated at the heart of, rather than exterior to, scientific activity. Positioning the researcher as a negotiator of significant truths rather than an adjudicator of a priori precepts enables contributors to relocate ethics in new sets of social and scientific relationships triggered by recent globalization processes—from new forms of intellectual and cultural ownership to accountability in governance, and the very ways in which people are studied. Case studies from ethnographic research, museum display, archaeological fieldwork and professional monitoring illustrate both best practice and potential pitfalls.

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Meet the Author

Lynn Meskell is Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology, Columbia University.

Peter Pels is Professor in the Anthropology of Sub-Saharan Africa, University Leiden, The Netherlands.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : embedding ethics 1
1 Your body, my property : the problem of colonial genetics in a postcolonial world 29
2 The promise and perils of an ethic of stewardship 47
3 "Where there aren't no Ten Commandments" : redefining ethics during the Darkness in El Dorado scandal 69
4 Anthropology's Malaysian interlocutors : toward a cosmopolitan ethics of anthropological practice 101
5 Sites of violence : terrorism, tourism, and heritage in the archaeological present 123
6 Pain, politics, and the epistemological ethics of anthropological disciplinarity 147
7 Situational ethics and engaged practice : the case of archaeology in Africa 169
8 A science of the gray : Malthus, Marx, and the ethics of studying crop biotechnology 197
9 The morality of exhibiting Indians 219
10 Documenting ethics 239
11 Solid histories for fragile nations : archaeology as cultural patrimony 253
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