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Ethical Imperialism: Institutional Review Boards and the Social Sciences, 1965-2009 Hardcover – July 29, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0801894909 ISBN-10: 0801894905 Edition: 1st

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Frequently Bought Together

Ethical Imperialism: Institutional Review Boards and the Social Sciences, 1965-2009 + Behind Closed Doors: IRBs and the Making of Ethical Research (Morality and Society Series) + Human Subjects Research Regulation: Perspectives on the Future (Basic Bioethics)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; 1 edition (July 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801894905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801894909
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #480,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The book is a powerful indictment of the IRB regime.

(George R. La Noue Law and Politics Book Review)

Ethical Imperialism is a remarkable accomplishment and a must-read for researchers and policy makers. It persuasively weaves together the scholarly, disciplinary, regulatory, and bureaucratic strands that account for today's 'omnipresent threat' to social research.

(Will van den Hoonaard Canadian Journal of Sociology)

A significant contribution to those oral historians and related practitioners who would seek to challenge IRB's right and ability to adequately evaluate their research projects, particularly before the research has been conducted.

(Erin Jessee Oral History Review)

Exhaustively researched, drawing on... a wide array of sources.

(Donald N. Bersoff PsycCRITIQUES)

An impressive assessment of IRBs, from their tenuous beginnings in the early 2960s as a practical response to a perceived threat to the public from medical research to its present status as a threat to academic freedom in the social sciences.

(Erin Jessee Oral History Review)

Thoroughly researched story of how IRBs came to be, how they came to adopt rules designed for medical, biological, and psychological researchers and then to apply them to the social sciences, how those rules became institutionalized, and how the rules protect universities rather than the people who serve as subjects and informants in social science research.

(Gaye Tuchman Contemporary Sociology)

Ethical Imperialism is a valuable contribution to the history of federal science policy and a useful critique of a system ill-suited to the uses to which it is being put.

(Joy Rohde Journal of American History)

This book ought to be required reading for those concerned about the political forces that make our work possible, and sometimes not possible at all.

(Susan B. Reverby American Historical Review)

I highly recommended this book for its contribution to the discussion of academic freedom, social science research, and the regulation of research ethics.

(Ellen Marakowitz AAUP: Regulated Research)

About the Author

Zachary M. Schrag, an associate professor of history at George Mason University, is the author of The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro, also published by Johns Hopkins.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Babb on September 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Today, most social researchers who do research with human subjects are obliged to learn the official history of IRBs through the NIH or CITI online research courses. The official history traces the IRB regulation of ethnographic and other social research, somewhat puzzlingly, to the abuses of the Tuskegee syphilis and Nazi twin experiments. Schrag's history, in contrast, shows in painstaking detail how a regulatory system designed for biomedical researchers was applied to social scientists with almost no participation or input from our disciplines. A must-read for academics concerned with human subjects regulation and academic freedom.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. John H. Noble Jr. on December 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ethical Imperialism Zachary Schrag's historical analysis of the genesis of the Institutional Review Board in the Tuskegee Institute debacle is a must read. He digs into documents that reveal how the response to a biomedical research nightmare has warped the social sciences and even threatens their continuing existence. His book serves as a reminder that the unintended consequences of reform may outweigh its benefits.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MacDuff on January 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an IRB committee member, I found this book to be fascinating, engaging, and informative. If I could, I would make this required reading for IRBs across the United States.

Disclaimer: I have no relation to the author.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This excellent book explains the origins of all the red tape social scientists and historians must endure thanks to the heavy hand of medical research as the model for IRB regulations. Well researched and persuasively argued! Give a copy to your vice provost for research!
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Ethical Imperialism: Institutional Review Boards and the Social Sciences, 1965-2009
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