Cultural or Ethical perspectives of inquiry, so use this week’s assignment to prepare materials and collect information for that purpose. Use articles that will help you explain and describe cultural and/or ethical, legal or regulatory issues related to your topic. You will analyze and evaluate these articles in your submission, which should include:
This week, you will find three scholarly, peer-reviewed research articles on your topic. Remember that next week you will submit a paper on Cultural and/or Ethical perspectives of inquiry, so use this week’s assignment to prepare materials and collect information for that purpose.
Use articles that will help you explain and describe cultural and/or ethical, legal or regulatory issues related to your topic. You will analyze and evaluate these articles in your submission, which should include:
A general goal of much social science research is improved health, and more specifically to empower people, from policy to local levels, with knowledge to make positive health changes and choices. Changes can result from knowledge, which as a science is based on sound research.
This research also involves ethical dimensions. As members of a professional community, academics strive to meet the needs of government funders, the academy, and greater society. Ethical conduct is a component of any human interaction, and the need for it increases when a relationship occurs across cultures, where conceptions of ethics can differ greatly (SINGER, 1993). 
The ethical conduct of researchers who have worked across cultures worldwide has a lengthy history of being criticized (LOFF & BLACK, 2000; SHALALA, 2000). Issues such as exploitation, community damage, and inaccurate findings have been identified as major concerns with ethnic and minority participants (PONTEROTTO & CASAS, 1991). Psychoeducational research should reflect the needs and benefits of participants, as well as academic and applied interests. However, a dialectical opposition in worldview and belief can often exist between academics and cross-cultural research participants. Much western thinking is characterized by individual and universal conceptualizations and informs academic research norms, whereas the worldviews of many cultural and ethnic groups encompass collectivist and specific norms (MCCORMICK, 1997; THOMASON, 1999).
In the current context of post-structuralism, the ethics of contemporary academic research practices should be constantly evolving, and, despite theoretical limitations, should seek to break from traditional-colonial theorizing about cross-cultural samples. The research relationship is one of a co-constructed nature (PEAVY, 1995), but this nature often goes unrecognized because it is determined by the boundaries of current ethical research and design practices (PIQUEMAL, 2001). In this paper, we question some of the “taken-for-granted” conceptions and consider an alternative to the existence and practices of academics. Examples from several community based research projects are presented as illustrations. 
2. Rethinking the Taken-for-Granted Conceptions in Research
Power is a central aspect to consider in cross-cultural research relationships. Research with cross-cultural participants, such as Aboriginal Canadians for example, has often reflected a power imbalance that is rooted in colonialism (PIQUEMAL, 2001). Poor people, gays and lesbians, youth, and members of other marginalized groups in western society have also been identified as lacking power in academic environments. 
CRIGGER, HOLCOMB and WEISS (2001) write that the notion of power may be less problematic for a community when researchers join the community rather than enter as experts or interlopers. Creating a partnership with research participants as both individuals and as a group may reduce the risk of unethical or unintentionally insensitive action or treatment. Additionally, research projects that are carried out using participatory methodologies may be more effective both in terms of ethical conduct and accurate research results. 
Concerns about power often centre on informed consent procedures and research design decisions such as research processes, methodology, data collection, and analysis. According to HART (1995), action research is marked by collaborative and agreed-upon decision-making processes that enable communities to hold power over the research. However, in terms of research ethics, the community may not always have the information or knowledge to make sound ethical decisions, which the academic researcher may be ethically bound to consider. For example, in one action research project, the co-researchers from the community formulated questions for a survey that the academic researcher questioned ethically:
“The group asked questions that I would not have asked myself. I tried to revise or eliminate some of the more intrusive questions, but if the group felt the issue was important, I had no authority to delete items from the questionnaires … I felt ethically justified in helping them to tabulate the answers and write the report.” (JENNINGS, JENNINGS, SOMMER, & BURSTEIN, 1987, p.669) 
In this case, the researcher decided to respect the community-researchers’ power in the process, yet remained aware of the ethical implications of data being collected in the research. 
As a dimension of power, informed consent means that prospective participants in the research are informed about the research and that their formal consent to participate is obtained (TUCKMAN, 1999). However, the source of consent for participants from cultural or ethnic groups must be more clearly and operationally defined than from more mainstream groups, such as undergraduate university class samples, and this must be done on a case-by-case basis.
Each ethnic or cultural group has a self-created identity that is unique and may be quite different from the dominant culture’s notions of self-identity (DAROU, KURTNESS, & HUM, 1993). For example, ethics, in terms of research with Aboriginal groups, requires a special definition, according to PIQUEMAL (2001); ethics, in such a context, is a fluid concept that requires constant re-examination and redefinition, within informed consent viewed and implemented as an ongoing process. Similarly, cross-cultural research ethics cannot be singly defined because each group has its own conception of ethics, based on its culture, which must be individually understood by researchers (HUDSON & TAYLOR-HENLEY, 2001).