Re: ethics of an ethnographer's intervention

John Glasscock (jglassco@UCS.INDIANA.EDU)
Sat, 12 Mar 1994 11:54:23 -0400

We all have a responsibility for children. You *MUST* intervene, even
if it destroys your "data" of your ethnographic research. Your role is
different than it would be were you studying a culture far removed from
your own.

Moreover, consider the effects of this child on others. A life (or many
lives) are more important than just about anything, and while your
dissertation may take a direction that you had not intended, it is no
less important if you chronicle the steps you take to intervene and
follow-up on the consequences. Are there alternatives to reform school
(there usually are, and reform school often is a breeding ground for
perfecting deviant behaviors)?

Keep us informed, and thanks for writing.

John Glasscock Ether_Dog^:>
Indiana University
100 N. Jefferson
Bloomington, IN 47408 tel: 812-336-0246

On Sat, 12 Mar 1994, Steven VanderStaay wrote:

> I am deep in a dissertation that involves an ethnograhic study of a
> teenage crack-dealer and his family; I am convinced that were I to intervene
> this moment I might save the lives of he and his mother and I do not know what
> with him, or running after him. She's a beautician, now sunk in despair and
> alcoholism, who has literally begged for my help.