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-   -   Learning about a culture (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=43562)

Skylines508 03-26-2013 11:50 PM

Learning about a culture
 
I'm a college student who has had friends in open relationships and couples who were swingers. I come to this forum to try and learn more about their lifestyle and learn about others. I'm an open minded lesbian wanting to become better educated.

Skylines508 03-27-2013 02:11 AM

Anyone willing to help can private message me

hyperskeptic 03-27-2013 02:26 AM

It might help if you could say more about your background and your motives.

Is this just personal exploration, either to understand your friends or to consider your own options? Is it a research project for a course? Or does it serve some other purpose?

It matters.

People - and not just people on this forum - might be skittish about becoming research subjects.

In any case, you can learn some of what you need by reading a lot, on this forum and elsewhere. Doing that might also help you to ask better questions, questions people might be more willing to answer.

When I first found out about polyamory, I discovered this site - http://www.xeromag.com/fvpoly.html - which began to answer many of my own (personal, not research) questions.

That might be a good starting point.

SchrodingersCat 03-27-2013 02:36 AM

PM I received when I logged on:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skylines508
Hi, I am a college student working on an ethnographic project learning about a culture separate of my own. My class was asked to discover an online community and become involved. I've been lurking on the site trying tho learn about the community it has. If you have more questions for me feel free to ask but I had a few questions for existing members.
1. What made you join this site?
2. What do you gain from this community?
3. How do you value the people you talk to on here?
Kristen

The first rule of polyamory is communication.

Please be honest about your motives in coming here. If you are doing a project for a course, tell the group you're doing a project for a course. Many of us have no objections to being research subjects, but the ethics committee in any college or university will insist that you tell your research subjects that they are research subjects.

Unless you are an undercover journalist, "become involved" does not mean hide your real motives and pretend to be one of the subjects you are studying. That is unethical research protocol and ought to get you kicked out of any respectable post-secondary institution.

hyperskeptic 03-27-2013 02:50 AM

I received the same PM, just now.

Regarding research ethics, a lot depends on what happens with the research.

If it's really just a class assignment and never goes past the instructor's desk, then the standards of research ethics are slightly less stringent. The student doesn't have to get her research protocol approved by the IRB.

If it's intended for publication, then, yes, nothing short of full IRB approval, formalized consent procedures, and so on, are in order.

There is a gray area, as student projects sometimes end up on YouTube or other online outlets . . . an in-between form of publication.

In any case, yes, I agree, this student needs to be up-front about her intentions and about the nature of the research project. I've PMed her back, telling her so.

BoringGuy 03-27-2013 02:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat (Post 193175)
Many of us have no objections to being research subjects, but the ethics committee in any college or university will insist that you tell your research subjects that they are research subjects.

Unless you are an undercover journalist, "become involved" does not mean hide your real motives and pretend to be one of the subjects you are studying. That is unethical research protocol and ought to get you kicked out of any respectable post-secondary institution.


It should at least get you a Zer0 on your project.



Quote:

Originally Posted by hyperskeptic (Post 193186)
I received the same PM, just now.

Regarding research ethics, a lot depends on what happens with the research.

If it's really just a class assignment and never goes past the instructor's desk, then the standards of research ethics are slightly less stringent. The student doesn't have to get her research protocol approved by the IRB.

If it's intended for publication, then, yes, nothing short of full IRB approval, formalized consent procedures, and so on, are in order.

There is a gray area, as student projects sometimes end up on YouTube or other online outlets . . . an in-between form of publication.

In any case, yes, I agree, this student needs to be up-front about her intentions and about the nature of the research project. I've PMed her back, telling her so.




Unless this is an "extracurricular activity" (recreational/optional) and not for credit or a grade, then you can probably do whatever the hell you want.

But it annoys folks sometimes when you say one thing in a public post and something different in a private message.

(I have not received a PM from the OP, but it's probably because they think I'm boring. After all, it says so right in my name.)

SchrodingersCat 03-27-2013 03:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hyperskeptic (Post 193186)
If it's really just a class assignment and never goes past the instructor's desk, then the standards of research ethics are slightly less stringent. The student doesn't have to get her research protocol approved by the IRB.

The student doesn't, but the prof does before handing out the assignment. At least, that's the rule here. Usually this is done once for a recurring class, and the approval is renewed on an annual basis.

kdt26417 03-27-2013 10:44 PM

I got the PM and I did answer the questions, as follows:

---

Re: "What made you join this site?"

I wanted to participate in, and be educated by, what seems to be the most prevalent poly forum around.

Re: "What do you gain from this community?"

Perspective from other members' thoughts and experiences, and friendly interactions with many of the members.

Re: "How do you value the people you talk to on here?"

I make an effort to be reliably compassionate and diplomatic in my conversations with the people here.

---

I also suggested posting the questions on a new thread in the Fireplace board, but I suppose the Intro board works just as well for me. I also agree with the others that your intentions, and the nature of your work here, should be made formal and clear.

It sounds like your project may be somewhat flexible and largely just involves learning about an online "culture" through participation. If so, then your questions may change, or you may think of additional questions to ask, after you've been here for awhile.

I suggest exploring our various threads more extensively, getting a feel for the people here, and developing a deeper understanding of what polyamory is and why it's important. Perhaps studying the Life stories and blogs board would be useful to that end. The Golden Nuggets board might also be a place to visit.

Does your assignment require you to obtain your information via private messaging? If not, I'd encouraging posting any questions you have publicly, so that the forum as a whole can benefit from the results.

Just my take on the matter. I hope you are able to learn and be edified by your experience here.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.

LovingRadiance 03-28-2013 12:06 AM

I concur with all of the other responses.

More than willing to elaborate to direct questions-if they are upfront and honestly posed.


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