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Risk, creativity and ethics: dimensions of innovation in qualitative social science research methods

Risk, creativity and ethics: dimensions of innovation in qualitative social science research methods
Risk, creativity and ethics: dimensions of innovation in qualitative social science research methods
This conference paper draws on research conducted within NCRM on the nature of methodological innovation in qualitative social science research methods, and in particular on three cases of innovation studied to explore the phenomenon in detail. The diverse cases are: netnography, child-led research and creative research. We examine the claim to a critical juncture in the emergence as innovative methods made by Robert Kozinets, Mary Kellett and David Gauntlett respectively. The research comprised a systematic search of the literature to explore the response of the academy community to publications by these authors, plus semi-structured interviews conducted with them and with individuals able to comment on developments, i.e for each case, an early career researcher applying or adapting the innovation, an experienced researcher in the area, a book reviewer of the innovator’s work, a knowledgeable researcher/user of the innovation from a different country and one from a different discipline. Thematic analysis of the interview data enabled exploration of the processes involved in the status of innovation being claimed or ascribed. Together the cases shed light on the changing social contexts that demand new research questions and responses and that lead researchers to develop novel methodological approaches. Points of interest arising in this project of understanding methodological innovation in process include issues of ethical responsibility, democratisation of research, empowerment through research and the relationship between research and the academy. The paper addresses the nebulous nature of methodological innovation and the ways in which it is about reflexivity on techniques as well the novelty of the techniques themselves. We argue that, counter to what we may have expected, in the particular cases studied the innovators were: (i) managing risks as much as taking risks; (ii) codifying their work as much as being creative; and (iii) seeking to be ethical rather than being constrained by a culture in which procedural ethical regulation works to limit methodological development. These innovators were working to balance communicating the safe qualities alongside the innovative qualities of their approach. They were operating in what are often perceived to be ethically risky domains (the internet, children, and visual methods) and it is helpful to reflect on the perceived riskiness of educational research and the particular relevance for researchers in education
1-7
Nind, Melanie
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Wiles, Rose
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Bengry-Howell, Andrew
d8c2888e-296c-4aa8-9b44-2867e8820158
Crow, Graham
723761e4-bba1-4eba-9672-e7029f547fce
Nind, Melanie
b1e294c7-0014-483e-9320-e2a0346dffef
Wiles, Rose
5bdc597b-716c-4f60-9f45-631ecca25571
Bengry-Howell, Andrew
d8c2888e-296c-4aa8-9b44-2867e8820158
Crow, Graham
723761e4-bba1-4eba-9672-e7029f547fce

Nind, Melanie, Wiles, Rose, Bengry-Howell, Andrew and Crow, Graham (2013) Risk, creativity and ethics: dimensions of innovation in qualitative social science research methods. Brtish Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Brighton, United Kingdom. 01 - 03 Sep 2013. pp. 1-7 .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

This conference paper draws on research conducted within NCRM on the nature of methodological innovation in qualitative social science research methods, and in particular on three cases of innovation studied to explore the phenomenon in detail. The diverse cases are: netnography, child-led research and creative research. We examine the claim to a critical juncture in the emergence as innovative methods made by Robert Kozinets, Mary Kellett and David Gauntlett respectively. The research comprised a systematic search of the literature to explore the response of the academy community to publications by these authors, plus semi-structured interviews conducted with them and with individuals able to comment on developments, i.e for each case, an early career researcher applying or adapting the innovation, an experienced researcher in the area, a book reviewer of the innovator’s work, a knowledgeable researcher/user of the innovation from a different country and one from a different discipline. Thematic analysis of the interview data enabled exploration of the processes involved in the status of innovation being claimed or ascribed. Together the cases shed light on the changing social contexts that demand new research questions and responses and that lead researchers to develop novel methodological approaches. Points of interest arising in this project of understanding methodological innovation in process include issues of ethical responsibility, democratisation of research, empowerment through research and the relationship between research and the academy. The paper addresses the nebulous nature of methodological innovation and the ways in which it is about reflexivity on techniques as well the novelty of the techniques themselves. We argue that, counter to what we may have expected, in the particular cases studied the innovators were: (i) managing risks as much as taking risks; (ii) codifying their work as much as being creative; and (iii) seeking to be ethical rather than being constrained by a culture in which procedural ethical regulation works to limit methodological development. These innovators were working to balance communicating the safe qualities alongside the innovative qualities of their approach. They were operating in what are often perceived to be ethically risky domains (the internet, children, and visual methods) and it is helpful to reflect on the perceived riskiness of educational research and the particular relevance for researchers in education

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More information

Published date: 3 September 2013
Venue - Dates: Brtish Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Brighton, United Kingdom, 2013-09-01 - 2013-09-03
Organisations: Faculty of Health Sciences, Social Sciences, Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 356280
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/356280
PURE UUID: a6ada66c-a7b8-46c6-8aa6-b95ba0223be0
ORCID for Melanie Nind: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4070-7513

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Oct 2013 10:07
Last modified: 21 Nov 2021 02:55

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Contributors

Author: Melanie Nind ORCID iD
Author: Rose Wiles
Author: Andrew Bengry-Howell
Author: Graham Crow

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