Ethics and Methods - Learn and Teach
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In This Section

Ethics and Methods

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Graphic promoting the 2021 AAA Annual Meeting. Text reads, CALL FOR PAPERS, Deadline Friday, May 21, 2021, 3 PM Eastern time. The words, Truth and Responsibility, are placed within a minimalistic design of pencil with various symbol outlines drawn on the pencil tip. At the bottom, text reads, annualmeeting.americananthro.org.

In This Section

AAA is committed to helping all anthropologists have access to quality information regarding methodological and ethical best practices. The Association’s Principles of Professional Responsibility include:

  1. Do No Harm
  2. Be Open and Honest Regarding Your Work
  3. Obtain Informed Consent and Necessary Permissions
  4. Weigh Competing Ethical Obligations Due Collaborators and Affected Parties
  5. Make Your Results Accessible
  6. Protect and Preserve Your Records
  7. Maintain Respectful and Ethical Professional Relationships

Each of these principles is more fully defined in the full AAA Statement On Ethics (2012). The Association has also established a Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault.

The Members’ Programmatic, Advisory and Advocacy Committee (MPAAC) regularly updates the AAA Ethics Forum, which contains discussions and case studies of use to the discipline. Contributions are always welcome for consideration.

Have an ethical conundrum that could use insight from a group of AAA Ethics scholars? The AAA Ethics Advisory Group consists of Association members who have served AAA in leadership roles related to ethics. The group responds to queries submitted via AAAEthicsFeedback@gmail.com. Note that the Ethics Advisory Group is not an adjudicating body.

In dealing with ethical dilemmas, anthropology students, researchers and practitioners may find the following resources useful:

Committee on Ethics Statements:

AAA Code of Ethics:

Teaching Ethics:

Historical documents representing previous steps taken by the AAA to provide ethical guidance to its members:

Other AAA groups that are currently addressing anthropological ethics:

Other anthropological and social science associations that have established ethics codes or statements:

Other online ethics resources, including free modules for Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training:

Additional Resources



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