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What was the method?

So, of course, I have a pop culture reference to start off my post. On Love and Hip Hip NY, Cardi B was fussing and cussing at one of the people on the show during the reunion and created an iconic gif/meme “WHAT WAS THE REASON?”.

Anywho, when I was creating my Venn diagram all I kept saying to myself was “WHAT WAS THE METHOD?”. Random I know.

Below I created a very easy to read Venn diagram of the overlapping methods/differences. When I say “live” people I mean that they did a survey questionnaire on a group of people they actually came into contact with. The other two studies used people, of course, but they did not necessarily have direct interaction with these people. They more so studied the content that was posted by these people on social networks such as Twitter and forums. This is important to note because when people may be unaware of their content being analyzed they are more likely to speak more freely and sometimes (as we see in the #notracist article) more disgustingly about other cultures and races. In reference to this and Gina’s article, the use of red flags as warnings for others in these groups were posted under pseudonyms. This gives them some veil of anonymity.

Both Gina and the authors of #notracist used content analysis in different ways(through python using the constructivist theory). Gina used it to prove that people use these forums to position themselves as unofficial border police. She also analyzed how those in these threads (forums) uphold polarizing beliefs that dictate their posts, engagements, and “warnings”.

With the #notracist article they looked at the hashtag #notracist using the program Chorus. They wanted to identify racial denial through the hashtag #notracist. Since this program did not have a way to decipher the connection of a tweet to a specific situation that would possibly cause this hashtag they looked into other tags as well to see how the data grabbed and categorized the tweets.

Overall all 3 authors’ research focused on some digital data whether it was through a traditional survey or content analysis. By using these digital formats they were all able to garner a lot of data although some data came with more digging to do (#notracist and their hashtag search). Using “live” subjects left the door open for responses to the survey to be censored due to fear of employer or distrust of the researchers.

In my own research, I have combined both content analysis, survey, and a focus group. I am interested to see, in the future, if someone will take these studies and add these other methods to dig deeper.


Categories: digisocymethods

Not ready to take the training wheels off.. » « From The Real World to the Digital

1 Comment

  1. https://media.giphy.com/media/xT77XWum9yH7zNkFW0/giphy.mp4

    That gets a standing ovation. You had me at Cardi B, but then….. A VENN DIAGRAM?! I love it. Yes, this is a wonderfully visual representation of these studies to compare and contrast the different methodological choices each study makes. It is important to weigh and balance the methodological choices we make. This occurs on many different levels…theoretical (what sort of theories do I have about my casual observations of the digital space? What do I need to do to make those researchable or testable?) empirical (what date do I need to answer the question? How do I get it? how do I analyze it?), and ethical (how do I protect research subjects and bystanders? How do I handle issues of reporting if I encounter human rights violations, abuse, and/or illicit activity? How do I protect myself as the researcher from experience harm as the result of my work?) All of these need to be justified ala Cardi B “WHAT is the reason?”

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