Statement of Ethics

American Folklore Society,
18 February 1988, USA

Folklore research is a human undertaking for which the individual bears ethical as well as scientific responsibility. This statement provided guidelines to the accepted professional standards of research and the presentation of that research.

Folklorists, more than most other professionals, work with peoples from many different communities and socioeconomic backgrounds. Their professional situation is therefore particularly varied and complex. They are involved in different ways with their discipline, their colleagues, their students, their sponsors, their own and host governments, the particular individuals and groups with whom they conduct their fieldwork, and other populations and interest groups in the nations where they work. Because folklorists study issues and processes that affect general human welfare, they are faced with unusual complexities and ethical dilemmas. It is a major responsibility of folklorists to anticipate these and to plan to resolve them in such a way as to do least damage to those whom they work and their scholarly community.