Call for chapters - "F**k Ups in Social Research: What to do when Research Goes Wrong"

Dr Kahryn Hughes, Associate Professor in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, has recently confirmed a new publication called “F**k Ups in Social Research: What to do when Research Goes Wrong."

The book, a SAGE publication, will be edited by Dr Kahryn Hughes, Dr Grace Sykes, Dr Anna Tarrant and Prof. Jason Hughes.

The proposed book

Over the past forty years there has been a burgeoning literature in the social sciences on what we might describe as exemplary ethics and associated methodology. This work identifies questions of best practice in the conduct of research, and formulates strategies of reflection and engagement to foresee and mitigate problematic elements of research participation. Less reported is what happens when research goes wrong or at least is perceived to go wrong.  

This proposed text takes a somewhat different view of research ‘problems’. All too frequently, the unexpected in research processes is conflated with research ‘failure’, or, as we came to describe it a ‘f**k up in the field’. Problematic events, situations, struggles and dilemmas during fieldwork are so often erased from research reporting, where scholarly outputs more often reflect on research findings and outcomes from the study. Yet while social research is inherently ‘messy’ and inevitably replete with ‘f**k ups’, this messiness is also inherently epistemological and can inform, in sometimes unanticipated ways, on the social world. 

The aim of this book, which will be published with international publishers SAGE, is to support researchers grappling with complex research situations, providing practical examples of how other researchers may have managed these, and providing a range of strategies for thinking through the intellectual affordances of what, at first, might have felt like a complete disaster. 

Call for chapters

Authors are invited to submit a 200-word abstract that briefly details:  

- the ‘f**k ups’ they experienced in their research
- how and what went wrong
- how the researchers managed, or failed to manage, the situation and  
- what new intellectual developments were made possible through sustained reflexive engagement.

The book will be organised around key stages of the research process so please state clearly which stage of the research your case study refers to. 

Each chapter/case study will be 6,000 words long including references and a chapter template will be provided upon acceptance. We especially encourage submissions from early career researchers and/or majority world scholars.   

Submission details

Please send proposed chapter abstracts to Dr Kahryn Hughes, Associate Professor in Sociology at the School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds, by email: by 20th July 2021.