Forbidden Knowledge

TitleForbidden Knowledge
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsCassell, J
Corporate AuthorsAmerican Anthropological Association,
PublisherAmerican Anthropological Association
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsANTHROPOLOGY , Privacy and Surveillance , professional responsibility
AbstractAn anthropologist writes for advice from her colleagues. While researching the language of a small tribe of Indians dwelling in the Southwest, she obtained a good deal of ethnographic information. Very little has been written about this tribe's culture and belief system, which is extremely unique in the areas of religion, ritual, and the supernatural. However, while members of this tribe do not object to her publishing descriptions of their former material culture, they are strongly opposed to any publication discussing their nonmaterial culture. The anthropologist wonders what she should do with her ethnographic notes, and if the wishes of the tribe members should override the need of science for an ethnographic description of a little-known culture that is quickly becoming westernized.
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.
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