Moralism and Research Ethics: A Machiavellian Perspective

Hammersley, Martyn and Traianou, Anna. 2011. Moralism and Research Ethics: A Machiavellian Perspective. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 14(5), pp. 379-390. ISSN 1364-5579 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article notes the increasing attention given to research ethics in recent years and focuses on two of the reasons for this: the growth in ethical regulation and the emergence of some kinds of qualitative research that foreground ethical ideals. It is argued that both involve forms of moralism or ethicism, in other words ‘the vice of overdoing morality’: they treat values that are external to the task of research as if they were central to it; and/or they require that researchers observe ‘the highest ethical standards’. The misconceptions and dangers involved in each of these sorts of moralism are discussed.

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Educational Studies
Research Office > REF2014



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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 09:57

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 09:59

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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