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This research is supposed to examine how the sociology of a relation affects its ethics.

In the above sentence I want "its" to refer to "a relation", but the way the sentence is constructed it sounds as if "its" can also refer to "the sociology of a relation". Is there any way I can avoid this ambiguity?

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    Why not just say "...how the sociology of a relation affects that relation's ethics"? – stangdon May 12 '18 at 21:05
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    What is "the sociology of a relation" – Lambie May 12 '18 at 22:22
  • @Lambie Do you have to ask that?! This is just a sample sentence. It could be anything else. The model is: How the X of p affects its Y. – Sasan May 17 '18 at 16:22
  • How the sociology of urban politics reflects its ethics. Now, there's a title. But, that means that sociology has ethics. Hmm. How the thinkers of Classical Greece affected its citizens. The its goes back to the entire phrase. – Lambie May 18 '18 at 0:56
  • Is this really "just a sample sentence," as you claim? It looks more like a sentence from a research paper you are in the midst of authoring. That's not prohibited, of course, but it might be better to use simpler examples that are true "sample sentences" – especially if you don't want to be asked questions about meaning. Deeper, more confusing sentences can be harder to analyze. – J.R. May 29 '18 at 21:51

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