Explore issues and methods involved in conducting qualitative and/or ethnographic research in the social sciences related to the digital. This includes data gathering and analysis using “digital tools” such as mobile phones, GPS technology and software programmes which supplement conventional ethnographic and qualitative research methods.
You will also look at new approaches, strategies and techniques for conducting research which engage directly with online and digital environments, including social media platforms, blogs and discussions forums and fully immersive digital realms such as video games and virtual worlds. Understanding how to use these methods opens up novel areas for research and access to new forms of data and communities.
In light of the ongoing intensification of social interaction and association which occurs online and, in the wake of a global pandemic which has severely curtailed possibilities for conducting research in direct contact with others, the course explores both possibilities and opportunities for research of the digital and via the digital. For example, through the adaptation of research projects originally designed to be conducted ‘offline’ for remote, digital and ‘online’ methods and means.
Participants will be asked to design and undertake a small-scale project based on the topics covered in this module, to be presented for discussion in the final class meeting.