Case Studies Assignment Ethics in the Social Sciences Spring 2022
Due: 27
th October 2022, 11:59pm
Work count:
1500 words
There is a +/-10% leeway on the word limits. For this task, this means 1350-1650 words
are acceptable (
excluding reference list). Your intext citations count towards the word
Minimum number of references: You should make use of a minimum of 8 references.
At least 6 of these references should be scholarly sources.
Students will be expected to read widely for this assessment task and identify a range
of reputable sources that will be useful to completing the paper. It would be particularly
beneficial to make use of the readings provided to you in the readings and resources
tab and from the list for each case study, however you are welcome to, and strongly
encouraged, to supplement the research by finding your own.
*Wikipedia will not be considered a legitimate reference.
*Please be advised that websites are of inconsistent value and you need to be vigilant
in your use of various websites (this includes blogs, YouTube, social media platforms
*The Conversation is not a scholarly source.
*Government reports will be considered a scholarly source.
You are strongly advised to use the WSU library webpage to locate resources for this
A reference list should be provided at the end of your answer (not included in the word
count). These must be cited at some point within your response. You are encouraged
to use the suggested readings and resources below.
Ensure that you acknowledge all sources and influences on your ideas.
Case Studies Assignment Ethics in the Social Sciences Spring 2022
Choose a case study from the list below.
You will be expected to consider
what dilemmas are presented by the case study, and
how these issues and the solution might be informed by the theories examined this
This assessment is designed to help you explore the conversations around ethics in your
academic discipline and/or professional pathway.
The extra readings and resources will be useful for this task. You are also encouraged
to do independent research and use applicable scholarly literature in addition to those
provided to you.
For this assessment, you will need to choose two of the following theories to apply to
the case study:
Universal Ethical Egoism
Act Utilitarianism
Rule Utilitarianism
Divine Command Theory
Kant’s Duty Ethics
Ross’s Prima Facie Duties
Nicomacean Virtue Ethics
Confucian Role Ethics
Indigenous Australian Philosophy(s)
***The following is a guide for completing the written paper:
1. The introduction should identify the case study that you have chosen and the two
theories you are going to apply to the case.
Detailed in criteria 1.
2. The first section of the body of the paper should detail the dilemmas presented by
the case study. This is where you should provide some ’facts’ and context around the

Case Studies Assignment Ethics in the Social Sciences Spring 2022
case which may include academic material from the additional readings, legislation,
policy, scientific/medical evidence, statistics, government and NGO reports, etc. This is
also where any relevant codes of ethics/conduct should be identified.
These should be
relevant to Australian professional conduct – that is, Australian focused codes of
The evidence presented here will be the foundation of your ethical analysis and is
detailed in marking criteria 2.
3. Section two of the paper should analyse how your two theories apply to the case
study. This will include applying all components of each theory to the case study, the
strengths and weaknesses of applying each theory to the case study and providing
consideration of the result of using each theory for all stakeholders impacted by the
case study.
You can conduct this analysis separately or juxtapose both theories throughout the
structure of the paper; you have creative license in expressing the analysis.
This section should form the bulk of your paper and is covered in marking criteria 3, 4,
and 5.
4. The final section of the paper should attempt to provide a feasible, workable, and
ethical solution to the dilemma by synthesising the main arguments that have been
made throughout the paper and should particularly draw upon the strengths discussed.
This is covered in marking criteria 6.
Humanitarian Support Worker
You work for an agency supporting on shore asylum seekers. Asylum seekers are very
often financially impoverished with many not being able to easily access the Asylum
Seeker Assistance Scheme or the Community Assistance Support Program. Your
organisation can provide food vouchers, a small basic amount of cash each week and
referrals to other agencies. One of the families you have been working with for a long
time come to see you and are concerned about being made homeless as they cannot
pay their rent. They have two young children. The father works cash-in-hand at a
restaurant but other than that they are not eligible for government assistance. The

Case Studies Assignment Ethics in the Social Sciences Spring 2022
father has recently lost this income source when the eatery closed during the COVID 19
lockdowns. You know this family is honest and trying hard to keep their head above
water. You have some access to supplementary funds but if you give money to them
there will be less for others. What would you do?
[Case study kindly contributed by: Dr Melissa Phillips, Lecturer, Humanitarian and
Development Studies, WSU]
Some resources to start you off
Clarinval, C and Biller-Andorno, N (2014) “Challenging Operations: An Ethical
Framework to Assist Humanitarian Aid Workers in their Decision-making Processes,
Plos Current,
ecurrents.dis.96bec99f13800a8059bb5b5a82028bbfdoi: 10.1371/currents.dis.96bec9
Fechter, A.-M. (2016). Aid work as moral labour.
Critique of Anthropology, 36(3), pp.
Lidén, K. (2020). Ethics. In
Humanitarianism, Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. Available
From: Brill
Löfquist, L. (2017), “Virtues and humanitarian ethics”
Disasters, 41, pp. 41-
Social Worker
You are a newly practicing social worker and you have just started your first job at an
out of home care facility in a small regional town in NSW. This is the only such facility
that supports vulnerable youth within an 8hour drive radius. It is also the only place
that is employing social workers in the local area. By working here, you are able to
remain in the town in which you grew up, near to your family with whom you are very
close. As part of your employment contract, you have signed a confidentiality
agreement. During your first few weeks at the facility, you begin to have concerns about
the running of the facility. There appears to be financial mismanagement leaving clients
living in below standard accommodation. In addition, one 16-year-old client has also
disclosed to you that they have been in a romantic relationship with a senior youth
worker for over a year and a half. You have brought your concerns to the manager who
has admitted that he too had heard “rumours” of this relationship and that “sometimes
the books just don’t quite balance” but is not going to investigate these concerns
further. You believe that he is not interested in addressing these issues as he is near
retirement and wants an easy road out.

Case Studies Assignment Ethics in the Social Sciences Spring 2022
Considering you are legally muzzled from disclosing the happenings in the facility,
currently still in your probation period, and this is the only job in the area in your
profession, what course of action have you decided to take regarding these issues?
[Case study inspired by contributions from Dr Ben Joseph, Lecturer Social Work, WSU]
Some resources to start you off
Beddoe, L (2012) “External Supervision in Social Work: Power, Space, Risk, and the
Search for Safety”,
Australian Social Work, 65(2), pp.197-213, DOI:
Cimino, A N, Rorke, J & Adams, H L (2013) “Supervisors Behaving Badly: Witnessing
Ethical Dilemmas and What To Do About It”,
Journal of Social Work Values & Ethics, Fall
2013, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp48 – 57.
De Maria, W (1997) “Flapping on clipped wings: Social work ethics in the
age of activism”,
Australian Social Work, 50(4), pp. 3-19, DOI:
Greene, A. D., & Latting, J. K. (2004). “Whistle-Blowing as a Form of Advocacy: Guidelines
for the Practitioner and Organization”.
Social Work, 49(2), pp. 219–230.
Hugman, R., Pawar, M., Anscombe, A.W.., & Wheeler, A. (2020). “Chapter One:
Introduction to Virtue Ethics” in
Virtue Ethics in Social Work Practice (1st ed.).
Raymond, S., Beddoe, L., & Staniforth, B. (2017). “Social workers’ experiences with
whistleblowing: To speak or not to speak?”.
Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 29(3),
pp. 17–29. (This is an episode of a
podcast that explores social work on Nauru. It considers issues of Deeds of
Confidentiality in situations that are harmful to clients and transgress their human
Working Holiday Makers
The COVID 19 pandemic has highlighted the precarious nature of Working Holiday
Makers (WHM) in Australia and New Zealand but also how vital such temporary workers
are to these countries’ economies. Although many WHMs enjoy their experiences

Case Studies Assignment Ethics in the Social Sciences Spring 2022
abroad, there is much concern regarding wage thefts, dangerous and largely informal
working conditions and that it is an exploitative means by which those from poorer
countries can participate in global economics as a way to reduce poverty in their own
countries. Indeed, these workers are also popular among employers because many will
accept poor conditions and low pay. Moreover, some economies cannot function
without them. In addition, many rural and regional towns are heavily reliant on working
holiday makers for tourism – they create demand for jobs and local infrastructure.
Researchers have proposed that without them some rural and regional economies
would simply not survive. Whilst these programs can offer exciting tourist experiences
for WHM, and provide economic gain and food security for the host nation this is often
at the expense of WHM’s rights and safety. Are Working Holiday visas ethical? What
ethical guidance can be used to improve the processes and outcomes in this context?
[Case study kindly contributed by: Ms Donna James, Lecturer in Heritage and Tourism,
Some resources to start you off
Iaquinto, B. L. (2018) “Working holiday makers in Australia: food security, climate
change, and the backpacker tax”,
Geographical Research, 56 pp. 107– 112.
doi: 10.1111/1745-5871.12261.
Opara, O (2018) “From settler society to working holiday heaven?: Patterns and issues
of temporary labour migration to New Zealand”,
New Zealand Sociology, 33(1, pp. 29–
Reilly, A., (2015) “Low-cost labour or cultural exchange? Reforming the Working
Holiday visa programme”.
The Economic and Labour Relations Review, 26(3), pp.474-
Reilly, A, Howe, J, van den Broek, D & Wright, C F (2018) “Working holiday makers in
Australian horticulture: labour market effect, exploitation and avenues for
Griffith Law Review, 27:1, pp. 99- 130, DOI: 10.1080/10383441.2018.1482814
Underhill, E. and Rimmer, M., (2016) “Layered vulnerability: Temporary migrants in
Australian horticulture”.
Journal of Industrial Relations, 58(5), pp.608-626.
Zhu, H Duncan, T & Tucker, H (2021) “The Precariousness of Young Chinese Being
Working Holiday Makers in New Zealand”,
Journal of China Tourism
, DOI: 10.1080/19388160.2021.1966562
Case Studies Assignment Ethics in the Social Sciences Spring 2022
Urban Planning
You are a senior urban planner who works on a local council planning group. The area
is very culturally diverse with a high proportion of young families. A developer wants to
build a multimillion-dollar development in the area. This development will be a boost
for the local economy that has taken a slump since the COVID 19 pandemic. The
developer is promising that 10% of the apartments built will be allocated to affordable
housing, the plan provides opportunities for local businesses and provision for a muchneeded childcare centre. However, the development requires the removal of green
space that is well utilised by the community and a significant sacred Indigenous site.
The council must consider all the needs of the community, including those who are
often marginalised and silenced, the rights of the Indigenous custodians of the area, as
well as concerns for ‘natural’ heritage’. What do you advise the council planning group
to do?
[Case study kindly contributed by: Dr Alanna Kamp, Lecturer in Geography, and Dr
Anna Leditschke, Lecturer in Urban Planning WSU]
Some resources to start you off
Campbell, H. and Marshall, R. (1999), Ethical Frameworks and Planning Theory.
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 23 pp. 464-
478. (oldie but useful)
Campbell, H., & Marshall, R. (2002). Utilitarianism’s Bad Breath? A Re-Evaluation of
the Public Interest Justification for Planning.
Planning Theory, 1(2), p. 163–
187. (oldie but useful)
James, S. W. (2013) “Rights to the Diverse City: Challenges to Indigenous Participation
in Urban Planning and Heritage Preservation in Sydney, Australia”,
Space and
, 16(3), pp. 274–287.
Pineda Pinto, M. (2020). Environmental ethics in the perception of urban planners: A
case study of four city councils.
Urban Studies, 57(14), pp. 2850–
Porter, L, Johnson, L C, and Jackson, S (2018) “Indigenous communities are reworking
urban planning, but planners need to accept their history”, 9 May 2018,
Wensing, Ed & Porter, L (2016) “Unsettling planning’s paradigms: towards a just
accommodation of Indigenous rights and interests in Australian urban

Case Studies Assignment Ethics in the Social Sciences Spring 2022
planning?”, Australian Planner, 53(2), pp. 91-
102, DOI: 10.1080/07293682.2015.1118394
Cybersecurity and whistleblowing
You are working as a cybersecurity analyst in a large government organisation. You feel
the focus of the work is mostly good and you are proud to contribute to its goals.
Recently you have been given a significant promotion and moved to another division in
the organisations. This position has a higher security clearance requirement and is a
significant “step up” from the work you have been previously doing. After a few months,
you notice that this part of the organisation is engaged in what you believe to be
unethical conduct. There is active surveillance of Australians who have been racially
profiled. You are considering whether you should steal electronic documentation of
these shady practices to provide to the media and law enforcement to shine a light on
these wrongdoings. However, this may in turn reveal sensitive information that could
breach national security as well as endanger the lives of intelligence operatives and
their families who are working in the field. Do you blow the whistle?
[Case study is inspired by the kind contributions of: Dr Abubakar Bello, Lecturer in
Cyber Security and Behaviour, WSU]
Some resources to start you off
Berendt, B & Schiffner, S (2021) “Whistleblower protection in the digital age — why
‘anonymous’ is not enough. Towards an interdisciplinary view of ethical dilemmas”,
arXivLabs, arXiv:2111.02825 [cs.AI]
(Please note that this paper is under peer review but will be useful to think with)
Brevini, B. (2017) “WikiLeaks: Between disclosure and whistle-blowing in digital
Sociology Compass. 11:12457.
Hazlina Shaik Mohd, N. A. (2020) “Down the cyber rabbit hole: Whistleblowing as a
means to fulfilling moral obligations in cyber space”
Jurnal Undang-Undang Dan
Masyarakat, 27
, pp. 20-24.
Martin, B. (2013). “Whistleblowing: A Practical Guide.” (2 ed.). Sweden: Irene
Also available at:
Shoemaker, D Kohnke, A & Laidlaw, G (2019) Ethics And Cybersecurity Are Not
Mutually Exclusive, EDPACS, 60(1), pp. 1-10, DOI: 10.1080/07366981.2019.1651516

Case Studies Assignment Ethics in the Social Sciences Spring 2022
Domestic Violence and protecting the community
You have just started your first job as a police officer at a local station. The station is a
good place to work, your colleagues are supportive and look out for each other. One
night shift you are called to a disturbance reported by a neighbour. They have heard
screaming and objects being broken. The address seems to be known to your partner.
Your partner has been working at the station for a couple of years and has only ever
performed her policing duties on shift with you to a high standard. As you approach the
home, your partner tells you to let her handle the issue and to say nothing to anyone
about what you will encounter. Upon the door opening, you realise that you are at the
home of the station’s sergeant. There is the smell of alcohol from her. There is another
woman in the home who has bruising on her face and who is emotionally distort. There
are clear signs of an altercation between the two. Your partner talks to your sergeant.
It is clear, that this is not the first time that she has been called to the house. Your
sergeant is apologetic for the call out and minimises the situation. When you take the
woman aside and ask her if she wishes to press charges, she quietly says it was “just a
silly fight, nothing to worry about” and she does not wish to press charges formally.
You and your partner return to the patrol car. You find out that your sergeant lives with
her same-sex partner but has not disclosed her sexuality to her colleagues at the
station. Your partner notes that she prefers to handle these (regular) call outs informally
as she respects the sergeant and she “has a good heart”. She is a high-ranking woman
who faced challenges getting to her position and is a big support of other women
officers at the station. Also, by making these matters official it would likely “out” your
sergeant. Besides, your partner doesn’t really think it is domestic violence if it is
between two women – just heated arguments that can get out of hand. The following
day your sergeant approaches you to thank you for your discretion about the previous
evening’s events.
You feel very uncomfortable that this issue has not been reported in any way especially
given police officers are sworn to protect the community. But you are new to the station
and your career, do not wish to get your sergeant into trouble and “out” her. Do you
address this incident, or do you say nothing?
[Case study was inspired by contributions from: Dr Toby Miles Johnson, Dr
Kate Linklater and Dr Ashlee Gore]
Some resources to start you off
Caulfield, L (2021) “’I am more than the violence I survive’: Reflections from the
policing family violence storytelling project”,
International Journal of Narrative
Therapy & Community Work
, No. 4, pp. 76-93
Case Studies Assignment Ethics in the Social Sciences Spring 2022
Diemer, K Stuart R, Humphreys, C & Lucy Healey(2017) “A ‘double edged sword’:
discretion and compulsion in policing domestic violence,”
Police Practice and
,18(4), pp. 339-351,DOI: 10.1080/15614263.2016.1230853
Douglas, H & Goodmark, L (2015) “Police perpetrators of domestic violence: what do
we know and what can be done”, 2 November 2015,
The Conversation <>
Meyer, M & Reeves, E (2021) “Policies, procedures and risk aversity: police decisionmaking in domestic violence matters in an Australian jurisdiction”,
Policing and
, 31(10),pp. 1168-1182,DOI: 10.1080/10439463.2020.1869234
Miles-Johnson, T., Ball, M. “Police prosecutors and LGBTIQ intimate partner violence,
victims, and perpetrators: an empirical study”,
SN Soc Sci 2(84).
Also see FYI:
Gleeson, Hayley (2022) “Queensland police grappling with ‘concerning increase’ in
domestic violence by officers but most victims aren’t reporting, advocates say”, 9 June
ABC news,
Disability and Homecare
You have been Angela’s disability support worker for two years and know her and her
family well. Angela is 15 years old and would refer to herself as neurodiverse. She was
diagnosed with Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in her early teens.
Angela lives at home with her parents and her younger sister. She lives in a small town
and feels comfortable in this area as she has grown up in the community. Over the past
six months Angela has become increasingly challenging to live with and has occasionally
become violent with her younger sister. She is keen to exert her independence and
wants to be a “normal” teenager. She will often go missing from the family home for
days. Her parents are concerned that she is engaging in risky behaviour of various kinds.
They are also concerned for their other daughter who also has the right to be safe in
her own home. In a recent incident, Angela’s sister found drug paraphernalia in her
room and Angela became very violent with her sister. Angela’s parents called the police
in a desperate attempt for assistance. Neither Angela nor her parents wish her to be
removed from the family home, but they are not able to avail of the type of support
that Angela and the family need in the home. It is becoming clear that Angela’s parents
are unable to manage Angela’s needs, and there are real concerns for the safety of her
sister. The alternative is for Angela to be put in out of home care, but the only available
accommodation is a three-hour journey from Angela’s town. This would mean she

Case Studies Assignment Ethics in the Social Sciences Spring 2022
would rarely see her family and would be in a new environment which may cause her
distress. This is not what her family want either. As her disability support worker what
would you advise to be the best course of action in this situation?
[Case study inspired by kind contributions from: Dr Scott Avery, Senior Lecturer
Indigenous Disability]
Some resources to start you off
Burton-Smith, R Keith R. McVilly, K R Yazbeck, M Trevor Parmenter, R & Tsutsui, T
(2009) “Service and support needs of Australian carers supporting a family member
with disability at home”,
Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 34(3),
pp. 239-247, DOI: 10.1080/13668250903103668
Paxman, M, Tully, L, Burke, S, and Watson, J (2014) “‘Evidence to inform out-of-home
care policy and practice in New South Wales: An overview of the pathways of care
longitudinal study”,
Developing Practice: The Child, Youth and Family Work Journal, 39,
pp. 54-71
Wilkins, D (2012) “Ethical Dilemmas in Social Work Practice with Disabled People:
Young Adult s with Autism”,
Ethics and Social Welfare, 6(1), pp. 97-105
Research Among Aboriginal Australians
You recently lost your research job because of COVID 19 university budget cuts. A senior
scholar who has just won a big Australian Research Council grant has invited you to join
him in conducting research in a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory.
This will be a 12-month contract and he also promises that you will be co-author on all
the academic outputs that come from the research. You are an early career researcher
and so this employment opportunity and potential to add to your CV is very enticing.
You agree. You are told that the community Elders have previously given permission to
the research team to work on Country and with them. However, upon arrival it soon
becomes apparent that the process by which the lead researcher sought permission
was dubious at best. He did not provide the community with all the details of what the
research process entails and how the work will be used, and so their consent was not
informed. It too becomes clear to you that the research is not being conducted in
culturally respectful ways and it is very opaque how the research would materially
benefit the community. The research team also have no Aboriginal scholars on it. You
know that these research practices are extractive and unethical, but you are sure that
if you challenge the lead investigator, he will likely find a way to remove you from the
project. And you really need the work. How would you proceed?
Some resources to start you off

Case Studies Assignment Ethics in the Social Sciences Spring 2022
Buchanan, J., Collard, L and Palmer, D. (2019). “Koorliny birniny, ni, quoppa katatjin :
respect and ethics in working with Indigenous Australian communities”. In Ethics,
Equity And Community Development. P. Westoby and S. Banks (eds). Bristol: The
Policy Press: 123-142
Sullivan, C. T. (2020) Who holds the key? Negotiating gatekeepers, community politics,
and the “right” to research in Indigenous spaces.
, 58: 344– 354.
Tynan, L (2021) “What is relationality? Indigenous knowledges, practices and
responsibilities with kin”,
Cultural Geographies, Vol. 28(4) 597–610
To Cheat or not to Cheat?
You are in the final year of your degree and just need to complete a second-year core
subject that you failed previously so that you can graduate. You have thus enrolled in
the Summer semester so that you can graduate the following Autumn. Things have not
gone well with you this semester. In addition to the long Covid symptoms you are
experiencing, you have had to take on multiple shifts at work to contribute to the
running of the household. You are tired all the time, and this is taking a toll on your
mental health. You have missed multiple tutorials, fallen behind on your study and have
handed in your previous two assessments late, copping late penalties. You are at risk of
failing again, delaying graduation and adding to your HECS debt. You are overwhelmed
by it all. A friend who is in their second year, and who regularly achieves distinctions,
has decided that university is not for them and now that the borders are open they are
going travelling. They completed their final assessment early, and given they have no
interest in completing their degree and can see what a state you are in emotionally,
they have offered to give you their assessment. They believe this is their good deed to
help a friend out. You know that this is academically dishonest as this is not your own
work, but you also know that you are not likely to get caught given the assessment is a
well reference piece and Turnitin will not pick up any concerning matches. All you have
to do is put your name on the assessment task and submit it as your own.
Do you take your friend’s assessment as your own and be sure to pass the unit, or do
you write your own assessment but given how far behind you are with your work you
may not get a high enough mark to pass the subject, failing for a second time?
Some resources to start you off
Guerrero-Dib, J.G., Portales, L. & Heredia-Escorza, Y. (2020) “Impact of academic
integrity on workplace ethical behaviour”.
Int J Educ Integr 16, 2.

Case Studies Assignment Ethics in the Social Sciences Spring 2022
Herdian, H., Mildaeni, I. N., & Wahidah, F. R. (2021). “There are Always Ways to Cheat”
Academic Dishonesty Strategies During Online Learning.
Journal of Learning Theory and
, 2(2), pp. 60–67.
Steven Mintz, S (2019) “Ethical Implications of Cheating”, 31 October 2019,
Higher Ed
Ethics Watch