Power to the People

TitlePower to the People
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsCassell, J, Peterson, J, Jacobs, S-E
Corporate AuthorsAmerican Anthropological Association,
PublisherAmerican Anthropological Association
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsANTHROPOLOGY , Conflict of Interest , professional responsibility
AbstractThe Western Power Company operates an energy-producing plant composed of a series of reservoirs and powerhouses on federal land, which is now up for relicense. Recent federal rulings state that a municipal power agency may take over an energy-producing project if the agency can show it will operate the project as well or better than the private company, and Municipal Electric Company files a competing application to take over the project.The project lies in the territory of a tribe of Native Americans who have had a troubled relationships with Western Power and other private utilities. Both Western Power and Municipal Electric hire the services of two anthropological consulting firms to investigate the concerns of the community and make recommendations on how to more forward. When Western Power's consulting firm resigns due to growing tensions between that company and the local community, Western Power approaches the firm originally hired by Municipal Electric to do the required second study on the project. What should the consulting firm do?
NotesFrom the Handbook on Ethical Issues in Anthropology, edited by Joan Cassell and Sue-Ellen Jacobs. A special publication of the American Anthropological Association, number 23. http://www.aaanet.org/publications/Ethicshandbook.cfm
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