Digital Media Research - SIMM34
About the Course
Digital media research methods matter to a critical study of digital environments
This course offers a broad introduction to digital media research methods, emphasising the significance of reliable, valid and situated research in a critical study of digital environments. These environments include a wide range of contexts from business, public service and non commercial spaces, the architecture and content of participatory cultures, social media and social activism, and digital socialities. The course focuses on combining empirical qualitative research with critical social and cultural theories in order to emphasise how the digital media researcher uses, adapts and critically reflects on methods and concepts to research problems or questions.
In the words of the course co-ordinators
Digital Media Research offers a broad approach to the qualitative methods that are useful to critical analysis of digital environments. We offer a range of perspectives and methods on how to understand and critically analyse digital media production, content and everyday practices.
We designed the intellectual structure for the course on qualitative multi-methods within digital media. There are three methods we focus on in the craft of digital media research. The first method includes production studies, specifically the method of production interviews. This method is useful for institutional analysis of professionals, amateurs and practitioners where one to one interviews are necessary for understanding inside a digital production culture. The second method includes aesthetics and communicative form of digital media content, specifically qualitative media analysis, and sound and image analysis. This method is useful for studying selected samples of digital texts and representations in a range of content, from pod casts to You Tube videos. The third method includes digital ethnography, specifically looking at routines, mobilities and socialities. This method is useful for in depth, focused research of digital media events, social movements, or specific audience, user and consumer social media practices. These three methods are connected to key concepts of media industries and professional practices, systemic and symbolic power within digital media environments, and everyday routines of digital ethnography practices.
We want to attract a diverse range of international postgraduate students who wish to study digital media research methods for the purposes of conducting empirical research for Masters theses, and also for professional skills in digital media methods for careers beyond postgraduate education. The course will combine lectures and seminars, with group workshops, where students will practice some of the skills required for the selected methods, exploring the craft of research and putting theory into practice with real world case studies. There will be a short essay based on critical reflections on digital media research methods and processes as related to the key critical concepts studied on the course.
Course leaders Professor Annette Hill and Professor Tobias Olsson
Excerpt from student evaluation
"The most vivid memory I will have is feeling that I matter, that I am not just a student, that I have the ability to improve myself in every lecture, develop critical thoughts and that the teachers are genuinely interested in those thoughts. That is what being a researcher feels like." (Lithuanian postgraduate student, Msc Media and Communication)