As social movement researchers, we often study groups that we are personally interested in. We may be sympathetic to their issue and perhaps even volunteer time and resource to the cause.
Do our personal politics prevent us from doing sound research? Does embodying the activist-scholar role make us less legitimate within the academy?
In a recent roundtable on The Society Pages, “Social Scientists Studying Social Movements,” two well-established researchers describe their personal experience in negotiating the activist-scholar dance in their work. David S. Meyer and Myra Marx Ferree discuss their somewhat divergent approaches in doing research on issues that they have a deep personal interest in.