About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6529-6538
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain

ETHICS AND THE GREEK CULTURAL DIALOGUE. UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS TALK ABOUT CHEATING AT THE EXAMINATIONS

L. Benincasa

University of Ioannina (GREECE)
The study described in this paper belongs to a still minority tradition of qualitative research on cheating. The paper explores the issue of how Greek undergraduate students talk about cheating as a moral issue. Focus is here on aspects of their talk that could be called contradictory.

The data analyzed here is part of a wider study that was conducted between 2010 and 2012 through semi-structured interviews with 17 undergraduate students and ex-students of pedagogy in Greece. Through semi-structured interviews the participants were asked about the way they judge their own and their fellow-students’ cheating behaviour. Issues of ethics were brought about partly spontaneously by the respondents and partly as the result of explicit questions (e.g. “How do you judge such practices?”).

A large number of studies of cheating worldwide have adopted some form of moral theory. Researchers have usually adopted the mainstream view of ethics without considering the possibility that respondents might have a different definition of what constitutes both cheating and morality. In this study I give voice to the students. From their discourse at least two different models of ethics emerge. In the first, cheating at the examinations is absolutely condemned on grounds of “justice” and “fairness.” In this view, the regulations must be applied regardless of the particular circumstances and the individuals involved. The alternative model, much more frequent in students’ talk, proposes instead a flexible ethics, which actors can adapt to their needs in particular situations. Describing their own and their friends’ cheating experiences, respondents appeal to different ad hoc moral principles, depending on the particular situation being described and the “needs” of the student involved. Among others, students appeal for example to what I have called the “ethics of learning” and the “ethics of friendship.” Their judgment takes into account factors such as e.g. who does the cheating, when, how and why. Each respondent refers to both mainstream values and alternative models.

The findings are interpreted through the anthropological concept of cultural dialogue. The students’ responses are described in relation to the cultural values of society and their “contradictions” are framed in terms of an ongoing “cultural dialogue” in the Greek society between different conceptions of laws and rules.
@InProceedings{BENINCASA2013ETH,
author = {Benincasa, L.},
title = {ETHICS AND THE GREEK CULTURAL DIALOGUE. UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS TALK ABOUT CHEATING AT THE EXAMINATIONS},
series = {6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3847-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {6529-6538}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Benincasa
TI - ETHICS AND THE GREEK CULTURAL DIALOGUE. UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS TALK ABOUT CHEATING AT THE EXAMINATIONS
SN - 978-84-616-3847-5/2340-1095
PY - 2013
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2013
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2013 Proceedings
SP - 6529
EP - 6538
ER -
L. Benincasa (2013) ETHICS AND THE GREEK CULTURAL DIALOGUE. UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS TALK ABOUT CHEATING AT THE EXAMINATIONS, ICERI2013 Proceedings, pp. 6529-6538.
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