The work Parent vs. Teacher Perspectives on the Navigation of Sexuality in Adolescents is an ethnographic narrative that outlines the specific research methods used including participant observation, shadowing, and semi-structured interviews. This case study was particularly focused on ethics due to the involvement of minors and the sensitive topics discussed among parents and educators.
Anthropology of Childhoods is a methodological issue that has been argued upon for years. The question whether to give children agency and label them as conscious actors who make their own decisions would possibly strip them of their vulnerability and thus protection. Toren explains that England and Europe have largely heeded this call to allow children a voice outside of the adult perspective. The United States as not taken to this trend of giving children a voice the premise is child protection but I feel as if there is a larger fear of the unfiltered ability children posses.
My case study would have been much strong if the child’s perspective had been accessible. It would have created an ability to triangulate my findings. Verbal consent was also a step taken before any information was obtained. I also went through IRB training through MSU to ensure I would understand the complexities of performing research. The narrative as a whole is a representation of ethics in its dedication to staying true with the dialog given and providing examples of claims that have been made.
The report is written to the standards of ethnographical structure detailing the troubles I experienced and the reflections of methods I used. This allows the reader to discern for themselves whether or not the research is a viable representation of its findings. Literature reviews from previous studies also give weight to the reasoning imposed from the collected and interpreted data. Multiple view points where recorded as to not create a study based singularly off of one view reflecting one experience.
Also as we have learned over the course of our anthropologic careers as students time is one of the most required aspects of learning of others experiences and being able to report back after being immersed in the research. I believe over the course of 5 months the relationship I was able to build with a family that allowed me further insight to expand my participants is what gave me the ability to choose what to focus on going forward. In allowing for multiple perspectives including fathers and older females I was able to create a fuller picture in the understanding of how people handle the adolescents transition into their more sexual roles as humans. I believe that children’s voice can ethically be involved in the ethnographic arena. I believe they will have to be seen as less responsible than their adult counterparts but to leave them out would leave out an outlook that is very real during that person’s life. To negate their emotions while they are displaying the actions of having them seems morally unjust. I believe a level of care be exercised when taking the context and writing about it.