This issue introduces a new framework for thinking about research from the standpoint of usable knowledge. Impact Validity is the extent to which research has the potential to play a role in social and political change or is useful as a tool for advocacy or activism. A series of articles have been collected for this issue that exemplify the intersection of science, activism/ advocacy, and social change. These articles highlight the ways in which others have strategically grounded their research in the advocacy needs of the social/political issue they are trying to influence, and the various decisions throughout the research process that have had a bearing on its potential to be useful in addressing social problems. These decisions, which rarely receive systematic attention, take central stage.
About the Author
Dr. Massey earned his doctorate in social-personality psychology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is currently Associate Professor of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Binghamton University, SUNY. His research interests include sexual prejudice and multidimensional attitudes, the experiences of LGBTQ parents, queer theory in social science, positive beliefs about gay men and lesbians, self and identity in the context of social stigma, and sense of safety and community among LGBTQ people. Dr. Barreras earned his Doctorate in social-personality psychology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He was a postdoctoral fellow at NDRI from 2004 to 2007 and received a Soros Justice Fellowship in 2008. His research is concerned with the gap between research and empirical knowledge on the one hand and policy and practice on the other. Through his research projects, he aims to develop an understanding of approaches, strategies, and models for better using scientific data, discourses, and methods in social change efforts.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTIONIntroducing “Impact Validity” Sean G. Massey and Ricardo E. Barreras 615
SECTION I: ADVOCACY AND GOOD SCIENCE ARE NOT MUTUALLYEXCLUSIVEApplication of Empirical Research Findings in Public HealthAdvocacy:Focus on Maternal, Child, and Reproductive Health Diana Romero, Amy Kwan, and Wendy Chavkin 633Pathways Housing First for Homeless Persons with PsychiatricDisabilities:Program Innovation, Research, and AdvocacyRonni Michelle Greenwood, Ana Stefancic, and SamTsemberis 645Public Engagement, Knowledge Transfer, and ImpactValidity Gareth Hagger-Johnson, Peter Hegarty, Meg Barker, and ChristinaRichards 664
SECTION II: IMPACT IS MORE THAN GOOD DATAAdvocacy Research in Harm Reduction Drug Policies Ernest Drucker 684New York City’s Struggle over Syringe Exchange: A Case Studyof the Intersection of Science, Activism, and PoliticalChange Ricardo E. Barreras and Rafael A. Torruella 694Researching the War on Terror in Swat Valley, Pakistan: Grapplingswith the Impact on Communities and the Transnational KnowledgeIndustry Lubna N. Chaudhry 713
SECTION III: KNOWLEDGE USE AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENTAn Approach to Scholarly Impact through Strategic EngagementinCommunity-Based Research 734Paul W. Speer and Brian D. ChristensMemoscopio: Producing Usable and Collectively Owned Knowledge Aboutthe World March for Peace and Nonviolence Carolina Munoz Proto, Antonia Devoto Lyon, Carolina VillarCastillo, and Marco Battistella 754How Much Punishment is Enough? Designing Participatory Research onParole Policies for Persons Convicted of ViolentCrimes Carla Marquez-Lewis, Michelle Fine, Kathy Boudin, William E.Waters, Mika’il DeVeaux, Felipe Vargas, Cheryl“Missy” Wilkins, Migdalia Martinez, Michael G. Pass,and Sharon White-Harrigan 771
SECTION IV: COMMENTARYImpact Validity: A Politics of Possibilities Damien W. Riggs 707