Applied Social Research: A Tool for the Human Services

Chapter 3 has clearly stated a number of ethical issues that relate to minority groups in society. It highlights the introduction of such issues as far as social research is concerned. Ethics are crucial in this research as they involve free people who are the subject of the investigation and not in cells where rights are seldom observed. In the United States of America, for instance, the doctrines of social research were encrypted comprehensively in the Belmont report.

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Respect for people was the first and most outstanding doctrine in the report. This dogma was formed under the foundation of personal respect and dignity, and it is closely related to human rights guided and enforced by the constitution of the USA. The diminishing of self-independence, therefore, calls for extraordinary protection. An example of drug testing amongst prisoners as compared to ordinary citizens is given in the report.

It states that the rights of inmates are infringed on certain occasions as a way of instilling order. As a matter of fact, quite a number of court verdicts support the constitutionality of the subject matter. Another issue that has been subject to debate is drug testing amongst beneficiaries of government aid. Considering the fact that this aid is voluntary, the testing of those involved should not be an infringement of human rights because they can easily opt-out in a bid to evade testing (Monette, Sullivan, Dejong, 2010).

The principle that comes second in the Belmont Report is beneficence. This doctrine intends to guard people against physical harm. This is done by making the most out of expected benefits and lessening the probable risks that may come alongside physical harm. It is practical that everything we do involves some sort of risk, and for this reason, in the event that we incidentally fall on the flip side, everything is bound to fail.

This is when a comfort zone in a society applies. For the duration of the Tuskegee study, the government obviously had a feeling that this comfort zone was agreeable; otherwise, the research would never have come to a conclusion. However, the study would not have born any fruits in the current societies with its policies in place. We can note. Therefore, acceptable risks can be measured even though they keep altering the morals of societies (Monette, Sullivan, Dejong, 2010).

Justice comes third. The tuskegee study also applies here as an example. Justice can only be achieved if the benefits or losses that come with the research are equally and reasonably distributed. Even though the fair distribution of these benefits and losses is encompassed in the constitution, society plays an imperative role in it too. The society provides the platforms and unidirectional procedures and policies through which the norms are observed. This then aids in the governing and observation of justice amongst everyone and in whatever they do (Monette, Sullivan, Dejong, 2010).

A comprehensive discussion is contained in chapter 3 concerning ethics and their comparison to the customary rules applied during the assessment of the actions. The chapter further indicates that ethical responses are not measurable through scientific procedures. This is because these responses are subject to evolution, just like the societies in which they are conceived. The chapter also vivifies the manner in which a number of ethical matters are handled and the manner in which they are relevant to minorities.

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Minorities within a given society may have different ideological beliefs and morals when compared to the majority. It has since been noted that the minorities in society are. As a result, a real concern as far as social research is concerned. The chapter highlights the way Jews were handled by the Nazis and the Tuskegee study as examples to indicate the importance of codified sets of moral standards (Monette, Sullivan, Dejong, 2010).


Monette, D.R., Sullivan, T.J., & Dejong, C.R. (2010). Applied Social Research: A Tool for the Human Services (8th Edition). Boston, Mass: Thompson Publishing.

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