The ‘problem’ of ethics in contemporary anthropological research


  • John Campbell School of Oriental and African Studies



Why is it that ‘ethics’ is seen as a problem in anthropology? This paper seeks to explore this question by looking at (a) historical shifts in the relation between ethnographers and their subjects/informants and (b) anthropological practice. I am interested in past anthropological practice to see whether it provides a reasonable guide to future practice, specifically with regard to the ethical conduct of ethnographic fieldwork.

Author Biography

John Campbell, School of Oriental and African Studies

John Campbell is a Senior Lecturer in the Anthropology of Development, Department of Anthropology, at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He can be contacted at jc58(AT)