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[Commlist] CfP - 'validity' in the social sciences
Tue Jan 22 19:09:28 GMT 2019
Sentio - an interdisciplinary social science journal
About the journal
Sentio is a new online journal (ISSN 2632-2455) founded and edited by
PhD students from the ESRC-funded South-east Network for the Social
Sciences (SeNSS) Doctoral Training Partnership. The journal’s
name, Sentio, translates to “I sense”, and reflects our
editorial interest in exploring the multiple and varied means by which
knowledge may be produced in and through the social sciences.
We invite submissions from doctoral researchers and scholars from all
institutions as our current and future collaborators and interlocutors.
Articles will be selected on a basis of merit and contribution to the
journal’s theme, not the author’s institutional affiliation.
We aim to publish contributions from PhD candidates, postgraduate
students, early-career researchers (ECRs) and scholars that speak to
current debates within and across all social sciences disciplines.
Submissions to the journal may comprise theoretical, methodological, and
empirical scholarship pertaining to the journal’s theme, or reports,
commentaries, and personal reflections on issues relevant to social
science scholarship. We particularly welcome submissions from an
Sentio is comprised of three sections:
▪ Features (1,000-1,500 words) containing interviews, book
reviews, and reportage of current events.
▪ Reflections (250-1,500 words) featuring informal deliberation on
fieldwork, methodology, grant/job application writing, and other aspects
of PhD/ECR life.
▪ Articles (1,000-3,000 words) featuring short academic articles,
usually brief versions of PhD chapters, conference submissions, or
journal articles, giving contributors a platform to publish early-stage
ideas, theories, or findings from their research as they emerge.
Our theme for the inaugural issue: Validity
The theme of our first issue is ‘validity’. We invite contributors to
reflect on the various uses, meanings, and mobilizations of the concept
within and across specific social science disciplines.
Validity is often interpreted differently across qualitative and
quantitative research methodologies. Research designs and
conclusions considered valid in one approach might be seen as invalid in
another. Contributions on this theme might involve reflection on
debates between different theoretical and epistemological paradigms, or
they could discuss the abilities of certain methodologies to
uncover ‘truths’. Scholars working in a positivist paradigm might have
different opinions on this to those working in a
post-positivist paradigm, for example.
Validity might also refer to the uses of research output, for instance
through claims that research is only ‘valid’ if its results are taken up
by policy makers and advocacy groups. Further, validity might be a
quality relevant for research ethics: how can we conduct scientific
study that produces insights about the social world without doing harm
to those we are researching?
Whilst debates about validity are a perennial issue within the social
sciences, the concept has been thrust into the spotlight once again in
recent months. The notion of validity has been marshalled in debates
about the status of gender, race, and queer studies (as well as other
forms of theorizing associated with emancipatory movements) as forms of
‘scientific enquiry’, with some commentators arguing that they fall
short of scientific standards on methodological and epistemological
grounds. Further, while efforts to strictly circumscribe ‘proper’ social
sciences are as old as each of its constituent disciplines, the current
debate takes place in a setting of increased urgency. The policing of
disciplinary boundaries occurs simultaneously with the fortification of
territorial boundaries, as well as an attendant climate of increasing
hostility against minoritised others. The academy of which we are all a
part is a site of real struggle when it comes to this debate: the
‘hostile environment’ policy enforces increased surveillance of non-EU
staff and students, while race, gender, and sexualities scholarship is
under threat from cuts in funding and disruption by right-wing agitators.
Against the background of recent political and intellectual debates on
the merits and obligations of scientific inquiry, we invite authors to
reflect on ‘validity’ in the social sciences.
Abstracts of maximum 250 words, along with full author details (name,
position, contact details, and institutional affiliation(s)) should be
submitted by 31 January 2019. Please submit contributions
to (SentioJournal /at/ gmail.com).
All submissions will be blind reviewed by the editorial team, and
contributors will be notified of the outcome by 22 February 2019.
Whilst we welcome broad interpretations of the theme for this issue,
recognizing that validity might be approached in a number of ways, we
offer some suggestions of potential areas of interest across the
journal’s three sections:
▪ Interviews with scholars whose work engages with, troubles, or
critically pushes the boundaries of how social science scholarship comes
to be seen as ‘valid’
▪ Review articles of recent publications engaging the concept of
social science validity
▪ Reportage of recent debates, observed online or in person, of
questions surrounding social science validity
▪ Moments of a researcher’s experience often left out of the final
text. Instances of personal realisation, emotional revelation,
or descriptions of felt experiences
▪ Stories that highlight the ways, means, and processes by which
you as a researcher or your research itself have been validated or
invalidated. What kinds of validity do you seek to attain? What kinds of
validity do you notice yourself imposing on or reproducing for others?
▪ Experiences of applying different methodological approaches in
order to validate research, e.g. questionnaires and scales, interviews,
observation, participatory methods, etc.
▪ Philosophical or theoretical discussions about the concept of
‘validity’ and its centrality in social science research
▪ Methodological approaches to obtaining ‘validity’ through
quantitative and/or qualitative means
▪ The place of ‘validity’ in data collection, analysis and
dissemination of research findings
▪ Definitional debates around ‘validity’
For questions, please contact (SentioJournal /at/ gmail.com)
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