Academic blogs are an increasingly popular form of social media that allow scholars to enact public engagement. This chapter examines academic blogs as scholarship, blogs about scholarship, and blogs as a tool to generate scholarship. After reviewing key terms and processes related to blogging, a brief history of blogging is provided. Then three types of blog environments are reviewed: personal, topic-driven, and filter blogs. Next, five metaphors for academic blogs are considered: blogs as education, information, relationship, engagement, and scholarship. These metaphors illustrate the breadth of blog functions, specifically their use for research innovation, mobility, connection, and reflexivity as well as for educational possibilities. Blogging as a form of scholarship is then explored in depth, especially the use of blogs for content analysis, multiadic discourse analysis, forms of diary research, and arts-based approaches. Finally, two key tensions regarding blogs as scholarship are explored: how the expedience of blog scholarship comes into conflict with concerns about credibility and how the accessible language and approaches to blog writing come into conflict with a blog entry’s enduring popularity or appeal.
Phillip Vannini and Sarah Abbott
Despite continued appeals by funding bodies, universities, and academy-based professional organizations to engage in knowledge mobilization, few academic researchers have made convincing and sustained efforts to dismantle the existing dominant power architecture that orders and organizes professional merit hierarchies along the lines of publication prestige (as indicated by the reputation of publishers) rather than on the basis of readership size or publication impact. The authors encourage more academics to write for a broader public audience. After highlighting a few common reasons why so much academic writing fails to engage readers beyond specialist audiences, the authors turn to the stories of five academic writers whose books have reached hundreds of thousands of people. These five books were selected because they were published within the last 10 years, were widely read, and were based in a qualitative, ethnographic research approach. Because they wished to reflect on the unique conditions shaping work within institutions of higher education, the authors excluded journalists and professional writers and included only university faculty. The authors interviewed these five authors, asking them about their writing styles, their publication-related experiences, and the production and distribution processes of their work.
Sociologists increasingly incorporate cognitive processes into their theoretical models. To date, scholars have paid particular attention to “Type 1” processes that are characterized by automatic activation and execution. This chapter evaluates methods that have been advanced for measuring Type 1 (or automatic) cognition, with the goal of bringing the most useful, well-validated, and promising measures into sociology. It begins with a discussion of general principles for measuring automatic processes, and then applies these principles to evaluate how well existing measures accomplish this task. Measures of three types of constructs are examined—evaluations and motivations, habits, and cognitive schemas—along with methods for comparing the relative effects of automatic and deliberate cognition on behavior.
Yvonna S. Lincoln, Vassa Grichko, and Glenn Allen Phillips
As qualitative researchers reach out to expand the reception of their research, they must consider both the kinds of audiences they wish to reach and the discourse—or “voice”—that will have the maximum impact for that audience. A careful consideration of this interaction can often be found by using deep reflexivity, or the reflection on the self-in-interaction with an audience and its preferred discourse(s) and media. Researchers will need to “shift registers,” or transfer from one kind of discourse to another, which is not always easily accomplished. This chapter considers the potential audiences, the types of languages and discourses familiar to those audiences, and the forms of communication most likely to reach a given group or audience.
Big data for social good has arisen from an emerging realization that Telecom operators possess huge amounts of data and knowledge that can be utilized for development purposes. While the data have existed for many years, efforts to systematically use the data for societal good and socioeconomic improvement have been lacking. Systematic analysis and use of telecom data can have significant potential. In this chapter, the authors will discuss how the analysis of mobile data can support social good; in addition, the authors will highlight the great potential of mobile data as well as obstacles and barriers to this kind of analysis.
Frédéric Lebaron and Brigitte Le Roux
Chapter abstract The extent to which the concepts of field and social space are linked to a concrete mode of empirical research—and in particular to a set of original statistical tools—has seldom been acknowledged. This chapter aims to re-establish the close link between the field concept and geometric data analysis (GDA), Bourdieu’s preferred technique for mapping the “social distances” between individuals. The elective affinity between the two is based on a relation of tight interdependence: on the one hand, the emergent practice of GDA sustains and strengthens the “implicit philosophy” of the theory of fields; on the other hand, the method’s widespread use by Bourdieu and his collaborators has facilitated GDA’s international reception in the social sciences. The chapter concludes by discussing the empirical research program that results from wedding a sociology of fields with the systematic use of GDA.
The book editor offers some final comments about the state of the field and promise for the future. Leavy suggests researchers consider using the language of “shapes” to talk about the forms their research takes and to highlight the ongoing role of the research community in shaping knowledge-building practices. She reviews the challenges and rewards of taking your work public. Leavy concludes by noting that institutional structures need to evolve their rewards criteria in order to meet the demands of practicing contemporary research and suggests that professors update their teaching practices to bring the audiences of research into the forefront of discussions of methodology.
Katie MacEntee, Casey Burkholder, and Joshua Schwab-Cartas
Digital media offer new platforms for engagement and dissemination for public scholarship. Cellphilm method (cellphone + film production) is a participatory visual methodology that builds on the increasing ubiquity of cellphones and other mobile technology across the globe, and the uptake of cellphone video-making as a form of socially engaged visual practice. In this chapter the authors trace the development of cellphilm method in research. They present case studies of cellphilm research in Hong Kong, Mexico, and South Africa in order to provide concrete examples of cellphilm research in practice and nuance the methodological implications of integrating cellphones and visual media production into public scholarship. The chapter concludes by offering directions for future research on cellphilms as a public scholarship method and providing a critical perspective on the integration of cellphones in research for public scholarship.
This chapter provides an overview of agent-based modeling (ABM), a computational method that allows researchers to simulate how macro-level phenomena spontaneously arise from micro-level interactions, and examines how sociologists might apply it to chart the emergence of cultural phenomena from individual cognitive processing. After providing some historical context for the concepts of “emergence” and the “micro-to-macro” transition in social theory and summarizing contributions ABM has already made in this arena, this work makes a case for how cognitive sociology might employ ABM toward the end of developing new, nonrational microfoundations for social theory and lays out the argument for why it should. The chapter concludes by offering a brief introduction to the basics of ABM design along with an overview of resources available to researchers interested in getting started with it.
Composing an Undivided Life as an Activist/Scholar: methods for practicing engaged social movement scholarship
Adria D. Goodson
This chapter illustrates the core methodological challenges and ultimate benefits of constructing engaged social movement theory through examining the design and implementation of the Prime Movers program, a philanthropic fellowship supporting social movement leaders in the United States. Through building on the work of the Boston College Media Research and Action Project, an entity that bridged the work of scholars and activists, the author integrated theory and practice and co-constructed knowledge by bridging social movement theory and activism. Milan’s methodological framework is used to explore the questions of relevance, accountability, power, and risk in doing this work. It concludes with recommendations for the activist/scholar who seeks to bridge distinctive worlds, especially academia to activism, in order to ensure that knowledge and practices are shared in multidirectional ways so that the creation of knowledge is democratized and therefore more valuable to the society.
Celeste Vaughan Curington and Miliann Kang
This chapter examines how racial and gender ideologies shape and are shaped by scientific understandings of beauty practices via a critical examination of the scholarly discourses on skin lightening. Based on qualitative content analysis of thirty domestic and international scholarly articles on skin lightening and whitening published between 2000 and 2017, the authors found that products in Europe and the United States marketed to white customers were likely to be framed as benign beauty products, with health risks attributed to imported products. In contrast, the use of similar products overseas, particularly in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, were depicted as higher risk and locally sourced. Further, by mapping certain skin-related pathologies onto distinct human bodies, these studies reinforce discredited biological understandings of race. Overall, scientific studies of skin whitening and lightening practices enforce the scientific validation of white/western beauty practices alongside the problematization of similar practices/products when used by non-white or non-western subjects. These studies often recognize the dominance of a white cultural ideal but, rather than tracing its structural and historical determinants, instead pathologize those who aspire to it, often neglecting the dynamics of global white supremacy, marketing, production, and distribution in the global beauty economy that fuel the desire and consumption for these products.
Correspondence Analysis and Bourdieu’s Approach to Statistics: Using Correspondence Analysis within Field Theory
Chapter abstract Since the mid-1970s, Bourdieu used multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) on a regular basis in order to construct fields and social spaces. After having been long neglected, this part of his work has spurred a new interest for some years. This chapter aims to highlight the very original and rich thought that lies behind Bourdieu’s use of MCA, but which can lead to misunderstandings. The chapter emphasizes three main points: the specific (French) sociological tradition in which Bourdieu’s statistical practices were rooted; the importance of the stage that consists in establishing the data to construct social spaces in an adequate way; and the dialectic relation between the thinking in terms of field and the use of MCA.
Jessica Smartt Gullion and Jessica Spears Williams
In this chapter, Gullion and Williams address many of the nuances of writing qualitative inquiry. They urge researchers to incorporate elements from creative nonfiction and storytelling into their work to appeal to readers outside of their particular disciplines and sub-fields. They argue that while writing “academically” has its own merit, if researchers truly want their research to reach a broad audience, they must break out of their academic training and become storytellers. By advocating for the use of elements from creative nonfiction, such as narrative, plot lines/story arcs, descriptive language, bringing characters to life, and metaphors, Gullion and Williams show researchers how to bring their research to life in such a way as to draw in a multitude of readers.
Mark R. Landahl, DeeDee M. Bennett, and Brenda D. Phillips
This chapter provides an overview of the history and development of research examining disaster events. The historical review includes discussion of the three core research traditions (disasters, hazards, and risk) and the more recent focus on public administration. A focus on research methods unique to disasters guides a review of the challenges of research in the four phases of disaster. The chapter also examines specific methodological challenges related to disaster field research, including sampling and data collection. The chapter concludes by reviewing issues in the transfer of research findings to emergency management practice and discusses the future of disaster research.
The chapter first outlines the history of the domestication concept and how it evolved when applied by different researchers. This is then exemplified through diverse domestication studies of the mobile phone. In the case of the smartphone, the form of domestication analysis in part reflects how it is framed more generally (e.g., as mobile media or the mobile Internet), the level of the analysis (e.g., on the device or on an app), and which users are being considered. Two case studies, of older (9–16 years) and younger (0–5 years) subjects, are described to show how different domestication analyses are possible, in this case influenced by the age of the child. A typology is provided to illustrate some of the factors shaping domestication analyses.
In the ongoing quest to find new analytical or methodological tools to explicate social action, cultural sociologists have recently turned to the dual-process models developed by cognitive and social psychologists. Designed to explain the two basic types of cognitive processing—one autonomous and the other requiring controlled attention, dual-process models became a natural partner for sociological theories of action, with their interest in parsing dispositional and deliberative types of action. This chapter offers an analytical review of the sociological literature that engages with dual-process models. It begins with an outline of the fundamentals of dual-process models in cognitive and social psychology, and follows with an examination of the premises that constitute what has come to be called the sociological dual-process model. It then reviews sociological research that applies dual-process models, dividing this literature into two distinct groups that are separated along sharp epistemological, methodological, and analytical lines. The first group is a largely consistent body of work that follows the premises of the sociological dual-process model, emphasizing the primacy of Type 1 processing, and investigating how this form of cognition shapes action. The second group comprises a more diverse body of work, examines Type 1 and Type 2 processing, and attempts to capture the processes that shape cognition and action. The chapter concludes with remarks about the critiques raised against dual-process models, along with their potential contributions to sociological analysis.
Ethical Challenges Community-Based Researchers and Community-Based Organizations Face: can we still work together?
Margaret R. Boyd
Community-based research (CBR) has grown rapidly since its origins and has helped to make substantial and positive changes within communities. The goals of CBR are to collaborate with community-based organizations (CBOs) and community partners in culturally sensitive, synergistic relationships to address community-defined problems and find community-relevant solutions. This chapter focuses on the ethical challenges that community-based researchers and CBOs face when working with traditional Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) to guide and evaluate their projects. Traditional IRB standards regarding informed consent, personal and professional boundaries, and decisions regarding risks and benefits to communities need to change. Academic researchers, community partners, IRBs, and institutions of higher learning must work together so that community-based researchers and CBOs can continue to work in community and communities for social justice and social change.
To engage ethically with vulnerable populations requires an investment of time and energy. Public scholars must examine critically what they think they know about the population with which they wish to work; they must also interrogate their relationship with the members of the community and remain committed to working collaboratively with all those involved. They must ensure that their project upholds the principles of justice, beneficence, and respect for the individual. They should draft an ethical protocol that outlines the way the group will address issues that emerge. They should also develop a process that can be used when unanticipated issues arise. Public scholars must be aware of the structural forces that challenge their ability to engage ethically with vulnerable populations. Those forces include institutional expectations/demands that scholars produce products that positively affect the image of the institution, the ways in which agencies and funders can exert influence on the direction of a project, and how broader cultural scripts may affect the way broader audiences evaluate the public scholarship project.
Wendy L. Sternberg
This chapter explores the conjoined artistic and scientific space with research on cross-cultural collaborative arts used for public health messaging. The author explores the complexities of the investigator’s role, methods, and outcome reliability and critically examines issues of context, language, subcultures, and agency to gain a fuller appreciation of inclusion and to frame it as a vital contributor to both public health analysis and transformation. Looking at not only funding paradigms, but also process and product as part of the research equation, the author advocates for a hybrid model of quantitative and qualitative evaluation and emphasizes the need to gather longer-term data to fully access and influence the public health landscape. The chapter closes with a set of provocative questions that invite readers to imagine and work together on a global scale to create sustainable public health solutions for the greater good of the entire human family.
This chapter examines the sociocognitive act of subverting the conventional semiotic asymmetry between what we culturally mark and what is habitually left unmarked and thereby assumed by default and thus taken for granted. Focusing on the mental processes of foregrounding and backgrounding (both separately and when they are combined), it highlights the politics of cognition as manifested in art, humor, academia, as well as everyday life.