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An archive of data September 30, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Academic, Dissertation, Ethnography, Methodology, PhD, PhD Data.

I am working on the methodology chapter for my dissertation at the moment. Here, I am trying to describe all of my data material, which is a rather tricky affair. As you probably know, I have been using various ethnographic approaches in my PhD project. My engagement and ‘zone of identification’ within the field of youth and online social networking in Denmark is quite strong as I have been entangled in the field since 2004 (both as a researcher, a public speaker, a blogger and as “an expert” in the media).

Therefore, I am trying to incorporate the idea of having an ‘archive of data’. The idea comes from Tim Rapley’s book “Doing Conversation, Discourse and Document Analysis“. But where Rapley presents two categories of data, researcher-generated and already existing, I am trying to add a third one: The kind of data that are generated by my own research results.

In this way, my ‘archive of data’ consists of three different types of data material:

  • Data generated by me (such as interviews, open-ended questionnaires, ethnographic observations
    and field rapports)
  • Already existing data (such as newspaper articles about the subject, public debate and discourses etc.)
  • Data generated on the basic of my previous research (such as comments on my blog, reactions on my public talks and articles, newspaper articles with me as a source etc.).

At the moment I am working on building up and describing this archive. One of my main challenges is being able to handle this massive amount of data and to analyse it righteously. But hopefully this division will help me analyse and reflect on my own role as a researcher within the field I am studying.

At the intersection September 18, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Academic, Conferences, Papers.
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In my last post I failed to mention that my AoIR paper presentation is part of an interesting panel called “At the Intersection: Public and Private, Global and Local, Design and Use, Virtual and Textual”, which features papers from some of my good friends and colleagues. In general, we all address some of the following issues:

If we regard the Internet as a place where the boundaries between online and offline identities and activities are increasingly blurred, we can also speak of that place as the space, where strands of otherwise relatively stable dichotomies meet and intersect. In this panel we offer critical perspectives on the above mentioned issues relating to the Internet as intersections and mixed spaces: How do we metaphorically and conceptually grasp mixed spaces? How do we study the mobility and intersecting of people, information and artifacts online? How do the various theoretical framings of mixed spaces influence Internet regulation and use? How can we reach an understanding of the users’ experience of their movements within these mixed spaces? When designing for mixed spaces, how can we integrate and involve the needs of intended users? These and other questions will be discussed, and we attempt to map future challenges in the field.

The presenters and papers are as follows:

Online social networking: From local experiences to global discourses September 11, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Academic, Conferences, Social Networking, Youth Culture.

As I am no longer on vacation, it must be time for an update from My PhD Blog.

As I wrote in my last post, I have been working on my paper for this year’s AoiR conference in Copenhagen. The paper is entitled “Online soical networking: From local experiences to global discourses”. It is based on the comprehensive national survey about Danish teenagers’ use of social network sites that I conducted together with The Media Council last year. In the paper I explore the different experiences that young people have through the use of social networking technologies. Those experiences are analysed in relation to the often one-sided public discourses surrounding the subject. Here is an extract from the abstract:

Often, young people do not have a voice in the public debate on internet safety and online social networking, but – as the paper will demonstrate – that does not mean that they do not have an opinion. By examining the responses of 2400 Danish young people to an online open-ended questionnaire dealing with their experiences on social network sites, I demonstrate how young people relate not only to a local context, but also a broader societal level when addressing the issues of online behaviour. In the paper I analyse how young Danes between the age of 12 and 18 – through their statements and responses in the survey – construct themselves as users of social network sites both in relation to very concrete and local online experiences from their everyday life and in relation to a more intangible global level of mediated discourses. Subsequently, I analyse how they construct themselves as ‘responsible young people’ by distancing themselves from the public and “grown up” discourse represented by e.g. their parents, teachers or the media.

I look forward to presenting my ideas about the “local experiences” and “global discourses”, which are based on Ron Scollon’s framework of Geographies of Discourse. Also, I look forward to the AoiR conference in general. The programme looks really interesting.

My paper can be downloaded here.