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Ethical Dilemmas in Personal Interviewing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2003

Laura R. Woliver
Affiliation:
University of South Carolina

Abstract

There are many issues of ethics and openness in elite interviewing that I have learned how to deal with through the years.Thanks to Beth L. Leech, Rutgers University, for including me in this workshop. I learned a lot listening to my fellow interviewers and gleaning wisdom from their experiences. Thanks also to Jeffrey Berry and the Political Organizations and Parties Section of APSA for putting the workshop on. My work has focused on people who cause trouble: protesters, litigants, defendants, sidewalk counselors, rescuers, and abortion providers, to name a few. Of course, in dealing with people you are studying you must be honest and ethical. It is important to remember that their activism comes from something they deeply feel. Their activism is because of their beliefs, opinions, experiences, and sense of community. They do not exist as activists so that you can add more lines to your vita or finish your dissertation. You must leave them in the same position in which you found them. You must do no harm to them.

Type
SYMPOSIUM
Copyright
© 2002 by the American Political Science Association

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