Vast amounts of digital data are now generated daily by people as they go about their lives, yet social researchers are struggling to exploit it. At the same time, the challenges faced by society in the 21st century are growing ever more complex, and demands research that is bigger in scale, more collaborative and multi-disciplinary than ever before. This cutting-edge volume provides an accessible introduction to innovative digital social research tools and methods that harness this ‘data deluge’ and successfully tackle key research challenges. Contributions from leading international researchers cover topics such as: • Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research • Data management • Social media and social network analysis • Modeling and simulation • Survey methods • Visualizing social data • Ethics and e-research • The future of social research in the digital age This vibrant introduction to innovative digital research methods is essential reading for anyone conducting social research today.
Chapter 12: Ethical Praxis in Digital Social Research
Ethical Praxis in Digital Social Research
When talking with colleagues about the ethical challenges which the rapid development of information technologies pose to the Natural and Social Sciences and especially those that are computationally intensive, we are often met with the following. ‘I do (hardware, systems, algorithms, databases, infrastructure...). Ethics has got nothing to do with my research.’ And to be fair, this is a very understandable (though we think misguided) response. Beyond the hinterlands of moral philosophy, ethics is usually perceived as a kind of Sunday sermonizing about such solemn topics as virtue, equality, justice and goodness and how they ought to guide our treatment of others. ‘If my research does not involve people, how can ethics be relevant to ...