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New technologies are posing new challenges to social science. Their very novelty also challenges the established methods that social research institutions have used to…
New technologies are posing new challenges to social science. Their very novelty also challenges the established methods that social research institutions have used to define their priorities. The UK’s Economic and Social research Council (ESRC) confronted these challenges, in part, by commissioning a futures study. It engaged the Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF) and the Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition (CRIC), to develop quickly a process for informing the choice of social science research priorities related to genomics. Four major reports were developed as background inputs to a scenario workshop process. As well as outlining a set of scenarios for the development of the genomics field, reports covered genomic applications, forecasts for drivers shaping genomics, and how the ESRC’s “thematic priorities” might relate to developments in genomics in the coming years. With this input and using advanced “groupware”, the scenario workshop identified five priority areas focused on how research should be conducted and 11 priority topics for what research is needed.
In this chapter I explore the issues of whose interest and rights are at stake when social scientists conduct their research. I caution that the ethical considerations…
In this chapter I explore the issues of whose interest and rights are at stake when social scientists conduct their research. I caution that the ethical considerations, values and principles that pertain to the social sciences are not always the same as those which rightly underpin the biomedical sciences and so not all should be imported. In particular I consider the dangers of applying a ‘participant protection model’ to social science research. I suggest that the social sciences must be regulated through a framework that understands and enables these differences rather than misconstrues and hinders good social science research.
The purpose of this article is to review the importance of theory in social enterprise research.
The purpose of this article is to review the importance of theory in social enterprise research.
The article presents and relates previous work on theory borrowing, theory extension and theory generation to social enterprise research.
Theoretical embeddeness and social relevance are important for the legitimacy of social enterprise research.
Social enterprise research offers a promising array of opportunities for theory extension and development.
In the social sciences, practical relevance is important for good theory development. Better theories have the potential to improve practice.
The article applies previous research on theory borrowing, extension and development to the context of social enterprise research.
Feminist research acknowledges the centrality of female knowledge and experience. Within this two further strands can be identified: that many feminist researchers place an emphasis on the social construction of meaning, with particular emphasis on the role of language as the primary vehicle of such constructions; and that within the centrality of female knowledge and experience is a feminist analysis of the role of power in determining the form and representation of social knowledge. The latter is an acknowledgement that feminist research is not just an extension of traditional research in non‐sexist ways and areas of relevance to women but that it must entail a critical evaluation of the research process in terms of its ability to illuminate women's experiences. This should comprise three strands — a critique of traditional theories and methods, the development of more appropriate theories and methods for studying the experience of women and the analysis of the role of the researcher within his/her research.
This chapter provides an overview of the specific legal, ethical, and privacy issues that can arise when conducting research using Twitter data. Existing literature is…
This chapter provides an overview of the specific legal, ethical, and privacy issues that can arise when conducting research using Twitter data. Existing literature is reviewed to inform those who may be undertaking social media research. We also present a number of industry and academic case studies in order to highlight the challenges that may arise in research projects using social media data. Finally, the chapter provides an overview of the process that was followed to gain ethics approval for a Ph.D. project using Twitter as a primary source of data. By outlining a number of Twitter-specific research case studies, the chapter will be a valuable resource to those considering the ethical implications of their own research projects utilizing social media data. Moreover, the chapter outlines existing work looking at the ethical practicalities of social media data and relates their applicability to researching Twitter.
This chapter explores the ethical complexities of researching location-aware social discovery Smartphone applications (apps) and how they mediate contemporary experiences…
This chapter explores the ethical complexities of researching location-aware social discovery Smartphone applications (apps) and how they mediate contemporary experiences of travel. We highlight the context-specific approach required to carrying out research on Tinder, a location-aware app that enables people to connect with others in close proximity to them. By journeying through the early stages of our research project, we demonstrate how ethical considerations and dilemmas began long before our project became a project. We discuss the pulls toward data extraction/mining of user-generated content (i.e., Tinder user profiles) within digital social research and the ethical challenges of using this data for research purposes. We focus particularly on issues of informed consent, privacy, and copyright, and the differences between manual and automated data mining/extraction techniques. Excerpts from our university ethics application are included to demonstrate how our research sits uneasily within standardized ethical protocols. Our moves away from a ‘big data’ approach to more ‘traditional’ and participatory methodologies are located within questions of epistemology and ontology including our commitment to practicing a feminist research ethic. Our chapter concludes with the lessons learned in the aim to push forward with research in challenging online spaces and with new data sources.
Professional ethics require researchers to disclose all risks to participants in their studies. Changes in the legal climate in the United States and new modes of…
Professional ethics require researchers to disclose all risks to participants in their studies. Changes in the legal climate in the United States and new modes of surveillance and communication call into question the effectiveness of measures used by researchers to protect participants from the risks they now face. This paper explores existing and newly enhanced risks to participants in social movement studies and examines problems with confidentiality agreements and informed consent procedures, two avenues that scholars traditionally use to protect research participants. The utility of Certificates of Confidentiality and researcher privilege also are examined as means to safeguard the privacy and security of research participants. The conclusion raises larger issues about the accountability of scholars to their research participants and the nature of risk in today's changing political climate. These include how to weigh potential risks and benefits to social movements and activists who are studied, the consequences for scholarship if scholars avoid studying movements and activists that pose risks, and the need for scholars to collaborate with research participants to tailor ethical research practices and to use institutional resources to challenge threats to the privacy and integrity of the people and groups they study.
We argue that by conducting systematic research with communities rather than on communities, community-based research (CBR) methods can both advance the study of human…
We argue that by conducting systematic research with communities rather than on communities, community-based research (CBR) methods can both advance the study of human interaction and strengthen public understanding and appreciation of social sciences. CBR, among other methods, can also address social scientists’ ethical and social commitments. We recap the history of calls by leading sociologists for rigorous, empirical, community-engaged research. We introduce CBR methods as empirically grounded methods for conducting social research with social actors. We define terms and describe the range of methods that we include in the umbrella term, “community-based research.” After providing exemplars of community-based research, we review CBR’s advantages and challenges. We, next, summarize an intervention that we undertook as members of the Publication Committee of the URBAN Research Network’s Sociology section in which the committee developed and disseminated guidelines for peer review of community-based research. We also share initial responses from journal editors. In the conclusion, we revisit the potential of community-based research and note the consequences of neglecting community-based research traditions.
The quest for a set of generic ethics principles remains a challenge, not least because the generation of new sets seems to be continuing unabated. This chapter has been…
The quest for a set of generic ethics principles remains a challenge, not least because the generation of new sets seems to be continuing unabated. This chapter has been developed from the first of a series of stimulus papers, delivered in symposia, organised as part of the Academy of Social Sciences’ initiative to promote discussion between learned societies aiming for a consensus on what might comprise generic ethics principles in social research.
This chapter analyzes the critical move in feminist scholarship to gender the discourse on risk mediation in dangerous ethnographic fieldwork, particularly in social…
This chapter analyzes the critical move in feminist scholarship to gender the discourse on risk mediation in dangerous ethnographic fieldwork, particularly in social justice research. Additionally, I draw on a reflexive analysis of my own fieldwork in Oaxaca, Mexico, to examine the intersectional impact of social location (gender, race, class, etc.) on risk management.
I synthesize key literature contributions in social science and feminist scholarship on doing dangerous fieldwork. Ethnographic data includes three months of participant observation and interviews with participants of the 2006 Oaxacan uprising.
I argue that the following themes represent axes of gendered risk mediation in social justice fieldwork: (1) the intersectional impact of social location on varied risks and the mediation of those risks, (2) impression management as an important tool for risk mediation, and (3) ethical dilemmas within risk mediation. The key dangers and risks in fieldwork include physical danger, emotional/psychological impacts, risk to research participants, ethical dangers, separation from family through international work, risk of imprisonment, and academic/professional risk.
Analysis of personal experience in the field is limited to this one researcher’s experience; however, it mirrors key themes present in the literature. Reflexive analysis of social location on risk mediation is part of a continued call by feminist ethnographers to research practical risk mediation techniques and recognize the intersectional impacts of social location on fieldwork.
This chapter provides insights that instructors of ethnographic methods might use to discuss dangerous fieldsites and how to mediate risk.
A failure to recognize risk in ethnographic research may disproportionately impact researchers most susceptible to particular risks.
Although feminist scholarship has long examined social location in fieldwork, analysis of risk management is limited. Additionally, this chapter adds to this scholarship by contributing key themes that unite the available research and a list of most-often discussed risks in fieldwork.