Qualitative methods PhD course. Vienna. Late June. Join me!

Qualitative methods PhD course. Vienna. Late June. Join me!

This summer, I’ve been appointed the Lazarsfeld Guest Professor at University of Vienna’s Department of Communication. Here, I’ll teach a week long intensive PhD course entitled Qualitative Methods: Flexible methods and adaptive stances for studying complexity in the digital era Relevant Dates: June 28-July 2 (Tuesday-Saturday). To register for the course, visit the official website. Deadline June 12! For more information for participants outside the EU, contact me. Description, objectives, and format of the course: This course introduces PhD participants to contemporary approaches and methods associated with qualitative research of networked or digital culture; to provide a conceptual framework for building contextual ethics into qualitative...

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OKCupid data release fiasco: It’s time to rethink ethics education

OKCupid data release fiasco: It’s time to rethink ethics education

In mid 2016, we confront another ethical crisis related to personal data, social media, the public internet, and social research. This time, it’s a release of some 70,0000 OKCupid users’ data, including some very intimate details about individuals. Responses from several communities of practice highlight the complications of using outdated modes of thinking about ethics and human subjects when considering new opportunities for research through publicly accessible or otherwise easily obtained data sets (e.g., Michael Zimmer produced a thoughtful response in Wired and Kate Crawford pointed us to her recent work with Jacob Metcalf on this topic). There are so many things to talk about in this case, but here, I’d like to weigh in on conversations about how we might respond to this issue as university educators.

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Doing fun things with (potentially) boring topics

Doing fun things with (potentially) boring topics

“Theme Week” is a model at Aarhus University Digital Living Programme to connect Masters students directly with cutting edge international researchers in the classroom. Last year, we hosted Theme Weeks involving some amazing scholars, such as: Andrew Herman, Terri Senft, Nadia Hakim, Rikke Toft Nørgård, Antonio Roig Telo, and Cheryl Ball. This spring, it’s all about doing fun things with boring topics and tools. Starting March 29, Kevin Driscoll and Lana Swartz, two researchers from Microsoft Research Lab’s Social Media Collective will offer a week-long workshop where students will talk about unnoticed infrastructures that guide and undergird our everyday digital lives. introduce the theme week as follows:  Infrastructures often go...

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Ethnography of IT Organizations: The case of Blackboard @AU

Ethnography of IT Organizations: The case of Blackboard @AU

I’m offering a project based ethnography course next semester (spring 2015), which involves real empirical research experience for Masters level students. http://kursuskatalog.au.dk/en/coursecatalog/Course/show/63804/ It’s an effort to build more interactive, non-lecture, research-based courses into the curriculum at our department of Communication & Culture at Aarhus University. Basically, I think students should have the opportunity to do real research that matters and get credit for doing it.  The trick is balancing this goal with the more traditional academic goal of learning more theories and concepts about how IT works within larger organizational structures. Anyway, here’s the title, description, and links. We’ll see how it goes....

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GT Fridays (that’s Grounded Theory Book Club)

GT Fridays (that’s Grounded Theory Book Club)

This year, I’m hosting Grounded Theory, or GT Fridays at Aarhus University. This book club is open to anyone who’s interested, and the best news is that if you’re a PhD student, you can get credit for participating! Let me know if you’re interested, and I’ll send more details.   Book club starts Sept. 11, 2015 Meanwhile, here are the basics: “Grounded theory” is a widely used approach for emergent, exploratory inquiry. While it can be a robust framework, the concept is sometimes (often) applied with only a superficial understanding of its conceptual history and development. Grounded theory has been debated, adjusted, refined, and reconsidered over the past several decades. Contemporary use of grounded theory should take into...

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Visual Culture, Visual Methods: PhD course (again! 2015!)

Visual Culture, Visual Methods: PhD course (again! 2015!)

Explore visual culture and methods with us! To enact and explore ideas about visual culture, visual methods, and aesthetic futures, we build the course around the Northside music festival in Aarhus. The course begins two days prior to the festival, when we’ll meet in a classroom environment. Then, during the festival we will use the festival as a laboratory for different types of empirical studies. We will focus on the exploration of how visual impressions and expressions, including digital visual media (such as Instagram, mobile camera, website) interweaves with (maybe reinforces, maybe contradicts?)the participant’s experience of the music festival.

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briefly: writing for process vs. writing for product

briefly: writing for process vs. writing for product

What’s the difference between writing for process and writing for product or publication?  I am asked this methods question frequently enough to respond in a blogpost.  But interestingly, I’m rarely ever asked the question in this way.  Instead, the question is buried within other questions about methods and particularly ethics, such as:  How can I protect others in my autoethnographic descriptions of events? How can I anonymize participants if I’m doing a study of a very select and public group? Or if I’m studying an online community that will have searchable archives? These well intentioned questions could be addressed at the level of ‘how to anonymize’, but as I note in 2011, this is almost impossible in a globally...

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