Doing research online


Bio: Kate Orton-Johnson is a digital sociologist. She is a senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and is Programme Co-Director of the Edinburgh MSc in Digital Society. She is co-convenor of the BSA Digital Sociology study group and a co-investigator at NCRM. She researches and publishes on intersections between technology, culture and everyday life, currently related to issues around digital leisure, digitally mediated parenthood and trust in blockchain technologies.

Idil Galip, University of Edinburgh

Kath Bassett, University of Edinburgh

Addi McGowan, University of Edinburgh

Zoom password: igi09Xz6
This exploratory panel will discuss the experience of doing research online. The panel will reflect on how we might define 'online' research and will explore the ways in which we can employ the digital in our methods. With a focus on qualitative approaches and drawing on a number of examples we will talk about digital spaces as rich places for ethnographic enquiry. We will discuss how Instagram can be used to collect ethnographic and autoethnographic data; reflecting on the ethical and algorithmic complexities of studying digital visual culture. Using Airbnb as a case we will discuss how spending time in a platform can help us to understand how platform affordances shape social processes. We will reflect on how learning about platforms and using autoethnographic methods can uncover how platform content shapes participants experiences of digital spaces. We will then invite discussion on the complexities; ambiguities and potentials of digital methods.