Are we all social scientists now? The rise of citizen social science raises more questions about social science than it answers. | Impact of Social Sciences

Finally, while CSS can rearrange the power dynamics of citizenship, research and knowing, narratives of ‘duty’ to take part, and to ‘do your bit’, necessarily place a greater burden on the individual and raise questions about the supposed emancipatory potential of participatory methods such as CSS. It is crucial to recognise that in many instances of CSS-based approaches, the power dynamics are not equal; nor are they really trying to be in terms of crowdsourcing approaches. Parallels can also be drawn to citizen science where participants are effectively used for less interesting tasks and roles. Furthermore, the dichotomy of the insider/outsider issue, as referred to above, is made more visible, but that does not mean it is dismantled in any way. The extent to which CSS successfully challenges the privileged position of the researcher, and to what extent many of the initial imbalances of power and inequalities are inadvertently reproduced in the process of doing CSS, remains to be seen.