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Developing a Socially Responsible Approach to IT Research

Developing a Socially Responsible Approach to IT Research
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Author(s): Justin Marquis (Indiana University, USA)
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 14
Source title: Handbook of Research on Instructional Systems and Technology
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Terry T. Kidd (Texas A&M University, USA) and Holim Song (Texas Southern University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-865-9.ch064

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Abstract

There is an ever-widening gap between the social classes in American society reflected in wages, living conditions, health care and access to technology. This chapter argues that a hidden agenda underlies much current educational technology research which, intentionally or unintentionally, reinforces the societal power structures which support this inequitable access. In order to demonstrate this subtle discrimination some of the work of well-known educational technology researcher Larry Cuban is examined in order to highlight the ways in which his choices of research sites and methodology help to perpetuate the digital divide through generalization and a failure to acknowledge the existence of persons who lack technology access in their homes. After the critique a methodology for conducting “socially responsible” educational technology research that employs a postmodern critical perspective to mitigate the discriminatory factors present in much contemporary research will be proposed.

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