Archive for the ‘Research Methods’ Category

Censoring social media fans flames of social unrest

July 17, 2012

Social media censorship in times of political unrest – a social simulation experiment with the uk riots

From BMS: Bulletin of Sociological Methodology/Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique

Is social media censorship a means to quell a modern uprising? Some politicians and law enforcers during the political turbulence of 2011 thought so, but this recent research suggests that uncensored citizens experience less violence and longer periods of peace between outbursts than communities subject to censorship.

The authors used sophisticated computer modeling to find out if the assumptions that actors’ use of media – such as Twitter – fueled mob action through greater awareness were true. The researchers found that all possible scenarios led to initial outbursts of violence but how the situation evolved was significantly influenced by government social media censorship.


The case against ethics review in the social sciences

July 10, 2012

From Research Ethics

For decades, scholars in the social sciences and humanities have questioned the appropriateness and utility of prior review of their research by human subjects’ ethics committees. This paper outlines criticisms and limitations of ethics committees. It suggests there are better options. Most critics of the current system of ethics review acknowledge the dangers of unethical research in the social sciences and humanities, but they see the current system of ethics review as a poor way to address those dangers. Embedded in their criticism are a number of potential alternatives to the status quo.


Unpaid work and social policy: Engaging research with mothers on social assistance

August 3, 2011

From Action Research

This study considers the area of unpaid care giving work as central to a gender analysis of public policy. The findings resonate with other published literature on this topic and suggest more nuanced research is needed regarding the ways Social Assistance (SA) policies impact the lives and experiences of unpaid work provided by parents living in poverty. Throughout the data gathering workshops, the women discussed the effects of social policies, shared survival strategies, came to recognize and validate their unpaid work, and eventually held face-to-face meetings with policy-makers.  This work assisted the participants in linking their unpaid work with social policy and finally, in taking significant socio-political action.


Invaluable British survey gauges the national mood after 3 terms of Labour government

February 8, 2011

From British Social Attitudes – The 27th Report

The annual British Social Attitudes survey is an indispensable guide to political and social issues in contemporary Britain. This 27th Report delivers the public’s verdict after thirteen years of Labour rule. It shows a nation at a political crossroads. On the one hand attitudes on welfare have hardened to the right. On the other, many think there were marked improvements in health and education under Labour, creating potential resistance to reform or cuts in these areas.

It is twenty years since Margaret Thatcher left office, but public opinion is far closer now to many of her core beliefs than it was then.  Findings show that attitudes have hardened over the last two decade, and are more in favour of cutting benefits and against taxing the better off disproportionately. But just as Blair and Brown incorporated key concepts of Thatcherism into New Labour’s ideology, Britain today is sending a clear message to Cameron and Clegg that it values the investment Labour has made in this country’s core public services.

‘The Rolls Royce of opinion surveys.’ – The Times 


A tale of ‘shacking up’: forces affecting cohabitation

January 26, 2011

Shacking up: an autoethnographic tale of cohabitation

From Qualitative Inquiry

There is little doubt the landscape of family life has changed over recent decades. As divorce rates thrive and step families are far more common, family relationships may be more complex for many compared to previous generations. This paper is an autoethnographic account of the author’s experience of cohabitation with her partner and his two children. She tries to move beyond her personal experience and comment on the larger social, cultural, and political forces affecting cohabiting families.


Is heavy drinking an integral part of a sailor’s life?

July 22, 2010

The impact of occupational culture on drinking behaviour of young adults in the U.S. Navy

From: Journal of Mixed Methods Research

Although heavy drinking is widely perceived to be a fundamental part of Navy life, little has been known about specific elements of the U.S. Navy workplace that may influence alcohol consumption. Previous surveys have identified that rates of heavy drinking are consistently higher for young adults in the military compared to civilians, and in fact higher among military populations of all ages. It is observed there are several important features of the Navy that contribute to problem drinking, perhaps most importantly the Navy culture has emphasized drinking as a mechanism for male bonding, recreation, and stress relief.

This mixed method study offers a comprehensive understanding of the contributory factors crucial to designing effective interventions. Findings may heighten awareness that elements of organizational culture can put young adults entering the workplace at risk for unhealthy drinking patterns.

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