Making social science matter?: Case Studies from community development and empowerment education research in rural Ghana and Aboriginal Australia

Tsey, Komla (2010) Making social science matter?: Case Studies from community development and empowerment education research in rural Ghana and Aboriginal Australia. Asian Social Science, 6 (1). pp. 3-12.

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Abstract

Despite potential opportunities offered by exceptional advances in science and technology, we are increasingly polarised from each other. Social inequalities, poverty and deprivation are only a few of the challenges facing most societies. By combining the theoretical perspective of Bent Flyvberg’s Making Social Science Matter (2001) and related Perestroika discourse with insights from community development and empowerment research in rural Ghana and Aboriginal Australia, this paper demonstrates a strengths-based approach to social science that builds social capital through enhancing the capacity of individuals and communities to routinely consider ethical questions; where they are going; what can be done to make things better. Focus is on Flyvbjerg’s challenge to social scientists to undertake research relevant to challenges and opportunities facing contemporary society. Highlighted is a need for researchers to reflect more explicitly about ways they seek to make their work relevant to people with whom they work. Strengths-based approaches, grounded in relevant ethical values, norms and local histories and traditions, offer one avenue for making social research relevant.

Item ID: 10820
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Phronetic social science; Perestroika; community development; empowerment; strength-based; values and norms; rural Ghana; Aboriginal Australia; research relevance; social capital
ISSN: 1911-2025
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2010 01:47
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920399 Indigenous Health not elsewhere classified @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health @ 20%
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