Saint Leo University


Moral issue – withholding information from the police about a crime or crimes.

Parties involved – the sociologist, the people in the urban slum that she is studying, the victims of the car-theft ring, and the local police department.

The parties involved in this case are the sociologist, the members that she is studying (the urban slum), the local police department, and the victims of the car-theft ring. The moral issue in question is knowingly withholding information about a crime and possible future crimes. To maintain the confidence that she has earned with the residents, the sociologist has chosen not to alert the police to the past crimes that have been committed by them, or the possible future crimes that the car-theft ring will commit in the future. This is an example of the feminine care perspective in which one focuses upon “feelings, relationships, and individual needs” (Burnor, Raley p.257). In this situation, I feel that employing the masculine justice perspective would be more ethical since it focuses on justice and moral principles. The sociologist knows that it is wrong for the residents to be part of a car-theft ring. She is not taking part in the crimes, but knowing about them being committed and not reporting it to the authorities makes the sociologist just as unethical as the actual criminals. However, I believe the sociologist knows that turning in the residents would end her ability to be able to study them any further.


Burnor, Richard, and Raley, Yvonne. Ethical Choices an Introduction to Moral Philosophy with Cases. Oxford University Press, 2018.

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