Print

Print


Fwd: Re: Social Network Research Partners
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 13:54:37 -0700
To: Charles Kadushin <[log in to unmask]>
From: Patricia Sachs <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Social Network Research Partners
Cc:
Bcc:
X-Attachments:
Colleagues:

The use of knowledge about social networks, as pointed out by Charles and Valdis, is a crucial issue for  both practitioners and academics. Those of us with consulting firms or practices often find that we must address how we frame our work, how we conduct ourselves, and how we consider the implications of what we provide to clients on a daily basis. I know that when I was an academic, I was aware of implications in a general rather than specific way. As a practitioner, these questions are alive, palpable, and in my face; handling them is a significant aspect of my firm's practice.

The greatest danger that I see are those places that ask for chunks of research without having the researcher understand how it will be used. I have seen firms hire graduate student anthropologist for such work, and the students are thrilled to be hired to do ethnography (or network analysis, or whatever it is), without understanding that being a hired hand without understanding the context of the work carries dangers.

This is not to say we shouldn't do this work. It does say that we need to pay attention, and function not only as researchers, but as players who influence the use and interpretation and implications of the work. Or, understand the context. This is not black and white, but many shades of grey.

Year ago the American Anthropological Association developed a code of ethics motivated, in part, by a terrible event in which some mountain people's world was systematically dismantled based on an understanding of their social system. As a result, disguising names has been crucial for much research. This is not always possible, however, which means the onus is on us to exercise judgment and be clear about consequences.

Patricia Sachs

--
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SOCIAL SOLUTIONS     
Work Systems Innovation & Design
Patricia Sachs, PhD
Founder/CEO
427 Casa del Mar Drive, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

http://www.social-solutions.com
[log in to unmask]
650.712.0555 
650.712.1557  fax
650.255.2057 cell


--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SOCIAL SOLUTIONS     
Work Systems Innovation & Design
Patricia Sachs, PhD
Founder/CEO
427 Casa del Mar Drive, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

http://www.social-solutions.com
[log in to unmask]
650.712.0555 
650.712.1557  fax
650.255.2057 cell