Whilst the researcher contends that the opportunity of undertaking this study should be best put to use towards extending the scope of social enquiry, for the benefit of the widest possible community, the advancement of knowledge and the pursuit of information are not themselves sufficient justifications for overriding other social and cultural values, and thus a commitment to ensuring that the social and psychological well-being of research participants are not affected negatively by their participation in the research is required. I acknowledge that internet-mediated inquiry poses different challenges, and am committed to only undertake research which is in line with the principles set in the New Brunswick Declaration, and based on constructive relationships among research participants, researchers, funders, and the wider community1.


1Further, the researcher is aware of the existence of biases associated with Internet-mediated research and volunteer samples, and will ensure that these are acknowledged throughout the analysis of data.

The researcher contends that the opportunity of undertaking this study should be best put to use towards extending the scope of social enquiry, for the benefit of the widest possible community (SRA, 2003), with a general duty to promote the advancement and dissemination of knowledge (British Society of Criminology [BSC], 2006). The researcher will not engage in selecting methods which are not fit for purpose, or otherwise designed to produce misleading results, or in misinterpreting findings by commission or omission (SRA, 2003; 2015), will take…Continue Reading “Academic Integrity and Professionalism”

The researcher is committed to ensuring that all potential participants maintain their right to self-determination in relation to the research project, and that they are provided with sufficient information about the study as the basis for informing their decision to participate (or otherwise). Furthermore, the researcher will not employ techniques meant to sway participants’ responses towards a preferred stance, and aims to keep detailed audio and/or written records of all communications with participants, and make (anonymised) copies of these available for inspection, for the purposes…Continue Reading “Autonomy”

The author is committed to ensuring that no participant is at risk of harm as either a direct or indirect consequence of participating in the research, and that individuals’ rights are upheld after the study had finished, throughout its dissemination. In doing so, the researcher will guarantee that participants remain anonymous to third parties through the handling of personal data in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation, that no sensitive data is required for the…Continue Reading “Non-maleficence”

This project is grounded in a critical pragmatist epistemology inspired by C. Wright Mills’ conceptualisation of ‘emancipatory political consciousness’, which contends that the making and re-making of reality is a political act, marked by a struggle between conflicting discourses and competing definitions of the status quo. While claims to knowledge are purely instrumental and provisional at best, the critical pragmatist view of cultural realities laying at the basis of this study can – and aims to – become a politics of resistance, and a moral…Continue Reading “Justice”

Where and how will data be stored? All personal data will be handled and stored in accordance with the current relevant legislation – the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) –  and the University of Portsmouth Data Protection Policy as follows: Files containing personal data will be stored in a secure University archive; Copies of personal data will be encrypted immediately after collection, employing an AES 256-bit key algorithm, and stored on: A password-protected laptop; A password-protected USB drive (Aegis Secure…Continue Reading “Data Protection”

This project is funded internally, through a competitive bursary provided by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Portsmouth.