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Research ethics review and the sociological research relationship

Hedgecoe, Adam Michael ORCID: 2008. Research ethics review and the sociological research relationship. Sociology 42 (5) , pp. 873-886. 10.1177/0038038508094567

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For years, sociologists working in other countries or UK-based medical sociologists have complained about the effects of having to seek approval from a research ethics committee (REC) or its equivalent before starting work. With the arrival of the ESRC's Research Ethics Framework, concern about ethics review has expanded to sociologists working on a wider range of topics. This article uses ethnographic data from a study of UK RECs to examine how these bodies assess applications from social scientists, particularly those proposing qualitative research (which opponents claim is given an especially hard time by such committees). These data challenge the idea that RECs are somehow ideologically biased against qualitative research and that they cannot give an adequate assessment of applications from sociologists and other social scientists. The article concludes by suggesting sociologists' time would be better spent studying the institutional nature of the university RECs stimulated by the ESRC.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (CESAGen)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Uncontrolled Keywords: ethnography; governance; national health service; research ethics
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0038-0385
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 08:50

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