This book offers an interdisciplinary set of contributions from leading scholars, and explores the complex relationship between media, technology and social movements. It provides a valuable resource for scholars and students working in this rapidly developing field.
Providing theoretical engagement with contemporary debates in the field of social movements and new media, the book also includes a theoretical overview of central contemporary debates, a re-evaluation of theories of social movement communication, and a critical overview of media ecology and media approaches in social movement scholarship. The theoretical contributions are also developed though empirical case studies from around the world, including the use of Facebook in student protests in the UK, the way power operates in Anonymous, the “politics of mundanity” in China, the emotional dynamics on Twitter of India’s Nirbhaya protest, and analysis of Twitter networks in the transnational feminist campaign ‘Take Back The Tech!’. This book was originally published as a special issue of Social Movement Studies.
What ethical challenges are faced by researchers studying social and political movements? Should scholars integrate their personal politics and identities into their research? What role should activists have in shaping the purposes or processes of social scientific research? How do changing political contexts affect the ethical integrity of a research project over time?
These are some of the live issues of research ethics that face students and scholars whose research ‘subjects’ are located in contentious political terrain. The contributors to this volume expose their own ethical thinking as they have met such challenges head on. Each explores real dilemmas of ethical practice on the ground as they carry out research on social movements across the globe. Authors examining pro-democracy activists in Malaysia, sanctions-breakers in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, environmental health organisations in North America and much else find that the narrow confines of Research Ethics Committees and Institutional Review Boards offer little guidance on the questions that really matter. They offer instead a demonstration of continual reflexivity that is both personal and political in its approach. This book opens up debate on research ethics, delineating key challenges and offering hopeful and practical ways forward for real-world, ethical social science.