Online Survey on Globalization and Grassroots Organizing

Ben Junge, a friend of mine and a professor of anthropology at SUNY – New Paltz, needs your help! Along with a student, Ben is doing research on “how grassroots groups in the US and Canada make use of the Internet and how (and if) they understand their own struggles in relation to globalization.” Here is the blurb from him about this online survey:

To anyone who represents an organization, project, or network that works on social justice issues (broadly defined, as we are casting the net wide!), I would be very much obliged if you could fill out our survey. The survey is anonymous and short (15-20 min). You can get a bit more info about the project at our New Paltz site on this research. .

Also, we’ve had a couple of sporadic problems with the website, so pls. also feel free to use the following site, which skips the intro and goes right to the survey.

Thanks much for any help and all the best from New Paltz,
Ben Junge

Here is the longer description from Ben about the work. If you want to forward this link to anyone, please do so!

Dear Grassroots Organizers,

We are trying to reach representatives of U.S. and Canada-based grassroots social justice organizations to complete a short online survey about globalization and the Internet. We would be grateful for your help spreading the word!

We are academic researchers from the State University of New York-New Paltz (a cultural anthropology professor and student), with no political or religious affiliation. We are interested in the perspectives of groups and networks working on social justice issues, including but not limited to such issues as race, ethnicity, gender, poverty, sexuality, the environment, healthcare, homelessness, immigration, and natural disaster.

If you represent a social movement, civil society organization, grassroots group or network, we hope you will take a moment to complete the survey by November 30. Your honest input will help us better understand how groups in the U.S. and Canada use the Internet to connect to groups elsewhere in the
world, and how they view the causes of social inequality around the globe. We plan to present our findings at the World Social Forum in Belém, Brazil in January 2009.

Our survey is entirely anonymous and takes about 20 minutes to complete. As a token of our appreciation, we’ll enter respondents who complete the survey by November 30 into a drawing for a gift certificate for Amazon.com.

You can find the survey online at:
http://www.newpaltz.edu/anthropology/survey.html. Please forward this site to an official representative of your organization (one survey per organization).

Also, we’ve had a couple of sporadic problems with the website, so please also feel free to use the following site, which skips the intro and goes right to the survey:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=PqJTgC_2f_2b84b3LnH0P2BqvA_3d_3d

Thank you for helping us get the word out, and please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.

Best wishes,

Benjamin Junge, PhD

If you have suggestions for Ben about how he could continue to spread the word and reach more organizations, or just wanted to know more about this work, please feel free to contact him at jungeb at newpaltz.edu

4 thoughts on “Online Survey on Globalization and Grassroots Organizing

  1. This is really troubling, especially in the contemporary context where peace activists and environmentalists have been placed under state surveillance and labeled as “terrorist” by some agencies, such as the FBI. There is no indication that I saw on the links as to who is funding this research, what its intended outcomes are, and how the researchers can promise anonymity with information transmitted over the Internet and stored on various servers along the way. This is not the way to craft an invitation, it basically tries to get you to jump right in and start the survey without giving it much thought. I really think this is poorly done and they need to start over, it sounds all sorts of alarms.

  2. Dear Prof. Forte,

    I take seriously the points you raised, and can offer some clarifications. Our project has passed clearance through the State University of New York Institutional Review Board, as an “anonymous Internet Survey,” which by federal guidelines does not require a formal informed consent procedure. By the same token, I agree about the need to address *confidentiality* issues – hence the text on the first page of the survey (which I’ve now also added to the official SUNY survey website). In preparing and piloting the promotional text and research instrument, I consulted with Canadian and U.S.-based social movement scholars, and received useful feedback of the U.S. Social Forum’s executive committee as well. In addition, we carried out pilot runs with various NGO reps to identify and address concerns, practical and ethical, which might emerge while taking the survey. The excellent feedback we received has, I believe, been a big part of the warm reception to this survey thus far.

    You also asked about funding: Since this project has no special funding (and we are very clear about our status as a professor and student), we have followed HHS guidelines and made no mention of project financing. (This would amount to stating that my salary is allowing me to carry out a project with a student.) I take your point seriously, though, and will think about how we could address it.

    Thanks very much for your comments and please feel free to contact me directly if you’d like (jungeb@newpaltz.edu).

    Best regards,
    Ben Junge
    SUNY-New Paltz

  3. Thank you Prof. Junge,

    reading the above would certainly make me feel much more at ease. In any event, my first impression was merely the impression of one (worried) person, and I am glad that you do not seem to have been negatively affected by the comment.

    Very best wishes.

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