Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1124284
 


 



How Talking Became Human Subjects Research: The Federal Regulation of the Social Sciences, 1965-1991


Zachary M. Schrag


George Mason University


Journal of Policy History, Vol. 21, pp. 3-37, 2009

Abstract:     
In universities across the United States, institutional review boards, or IRBs, claim that they have the moral and legal authority to control the work of researchers in the humanities and social sciences. While IRBs may claim powers independent of federal regulations, they invariably point to these regulations as a key source of their authority. This article draws on previously untapped manuscript materials in the National Archives to trace the history of the federal regulation of social science research. Officials raised sincere concerns about dangers to participants in social science research, especially the unwarranted invasion of privacy as a result of poorly planned survey and observational research. On the other hand, the application of the regulations to the social sciences was far less careful than was the development of guidelines for biomedical research. Regulators failed to define the problem they were trying to solve, then insisted on a protective measure borrowed from biomedical research without investigating alternatives.

Keywords: institutional review boards, human subjects, social science, sociology, anthropology, regulation

Accepted Paper Series





Not Available For Download

Date posted: April 23, 2008 ; Last revised: May 11, 2009

Suggested Citation

Schrag, Zachary M., How Talking Became Human Subjects Research: The Federal Regulation of the Social Sciences, 1965-1991. Journal of Policy History, Vol. 21, pp. 3-37, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1124284

Contact Information

Zachary M. Schrag (Contact Author)
George Mason University ( email )
MS 3G1
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.institutionalreviewblog.com
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,571

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo3 in 1.250 seconds