Field-workers encounter numerous personal and professional hazards in contract research. A few potentially hazardous situations include entrance into the field, role conflicts, fieldwork in the inner city, ethnographic reports, and dissemination of findings. Job stress and burnout pose an additional problem. Urban fieldwork in particular forces an ethnographer to confront the realities of guilty knowledge—confidential knowledge of illegal activities—and dirty hands—a situation from which one can not emerge innocent of wrongdoing. Developing moral decision-making guidelines is imperative if one is to deal effectively with these problems. The risk-benefit approach, the respect-for-persons ethic, and basic pragmatism must all be used as guidelines in the field. Other hazards range from fieldwork conducted at an accelerated pace, to reporting in a highly political atmosphere. Many of these pressures affect one's judgment while in the field—whether in the streets of the inner city or in plush conference rooms with governmental officials in Washington, D.C. Ethnographers can adapt to most of these environmental pressures if they are aware of them. The ethical dilemmas generated in day-to-day interaction between sponsor, researcher, and informant warrant close examination.

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