Patricia Canto, Ingar Brattbakk, Paulina Budrytė and Reidun Norvoll
Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XXV, 2023, 2, pp. 129-151
This paper contributes to the discussion around the epistemic foundations of citizen social science (CSS) by drawing from participatory communication. We argue that the latter’s long history reflecting on the ethical and political challenges that emerge from its dialogical perspective to empowerment and social change, could enhance the nascent CSS concept.
In establishing that relation we also explore how CSS can further develop participatory communication. To that end we look into YouCount, an ongoing CSS project that, from its inception, has understood dialogical communication as inextricably linked to the research process.
Our main findings are that: (i) old challenges related to the instrumental use of participatory communication are relevant to CSS; (ii) CSS offers a space to transcend entrenched narratives around knowledge production and communication that hindered the participatory communication paradigm; and, (iii) CSS has the potential to expand participatory communication’s scope through its use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) but faces important challenges related to research control of personal data and disclosure.