Reconfiguring Social Value in Health Research Through the Lens of Liminality

10 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2017

See all articles by Agomoni Ganguli‐Mitra

Agomoni Ganguli‐Mitra

University of Edinburgh

Edward Dove

University of Edinburgh - School of Law

Graeme Laurie

University of Edinburgh - School of Law

Samuel Taylor‐Alexander

University of Edinburgh

Date Written: February 2017

Abstract

Despite the growing importance of ‘social value’ as a central feature of research ethics, the term remains both conceptually vague and to a certain extent operationally rigid. And yet, perhaps because the rhetorical appeal of social value appears immediate and self‐evident, the concept has not been put to rigorous investigation in terms of its definition, strength, function, and scope. In this article, we discuss how the anthropological concept of liminality can illuminate social value and differentiate and reconfigure its variegated approaches. Employing liminality as a heuristic encourages a reassessment of how we understand the mobilization of ‘social value’ in bioethics. We argue that social value as seen through the lens of liminality can provide greater clarity of its function and scope for health research. Building on calls to understand social value as a dynamic, rather than a static, concept, we emphasize the need to appraise social value iteratively throughout the entire research as something that transforms over multiple times and across multiple spaces occupied by a range of actors.

Keywords: social value, health research, liminality, bioethics

Suggested Citation

Ganguli‐Mitra, Agomoni and Dove, Edward and Laurie, Graeme and Taylor‐Alexander, Samuel, Reconfiguring Social Value in Health Research Through the Lens of Liminality (February 2017). Bioethics, Vol. 31, Issue 2, pp. 87-96, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2895170 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bioe.12324

Agomoni Ganguli‐Mitra (Contact Author)

University of Edinburgh ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9JY
United Kingdom

Edward Dove

University of Edinburgh - School of Law ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, EH8 9YL
United Kingdom

Graeme Laurie

University of Edinburgh - School of Law ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, EH8 9YL
United Kingdom

Samuel Taylor‐Alexander

University of Edinburgh ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9JY
United Kingdom

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