eCite Digital Repository

Great 21st Century debates about the usefulness of research: can they help rural research?


Bell, EJ, Great 21st Century debates about the usefulness of research: can they help rural research?, Rural Society, 18, (1) pp. 3-16. ISSN 1037-1656 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.5172/rsj.351.18.1.3


This paper aims to contribute to reflection on how rural research can better serve rural communities. Using the results of literature searches across the disciplines, it explores some major 21st Century debates about improving the usefulness of research for policy and practice. The paper begins with an examination of different debates in biomedical and health research, moving on to other debates in the social sciences and humanities, particularly in sociology, political science, and history. Powerful critiques of the relevance of research are provided by case-based analysis, which raises the question of whether we need new forms of research evidence that reflect the configurational, synergistic complexity of policy and practice. The paper concludes with directions for what these debates collectively suggest for making rural research more useful to policy and practice. It also suggests how research methodology may be a political battlefield for democratic accountability in the 21st Century.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Translational research, research transfer, rural research methods, rural policy and practice
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Rural sociology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Rural and remote area health
UTAS Author:Bell, EJ (Associate Professor Erica Bell)
ID Code:54075
Year Published:2008
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2009-02-10
Last Modified:2015-02-23

Repository Staff Only: item control page