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Theorising Digital Change: Workshopping the relationship between digital theory and research


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Workshop introduction

QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre and Urban Informatics Research Lab welcome you to our 1-day workshop about how to combine research and theory in the investigation of digital change.

Digital change involves the shifting of people, relationships, institutions, policies and laws, geographies, urban landscapes, and society in relation to new digital technologies. This workshop challenges researchers with quantitative or qualitative data to tie their findings into a larger picture using theory. It also dares theorists to link their concepts to everyday occurrences and experiences.

The workshop will consist of presentations discussing ideas and challenges related to combining theory and research alongside a keynote presentation and an expert plenary panel. The keynote will be given by guest speaker Centenary Research Professor Deborah Lupton from the University of Canberra. Professor Lupton conducts cutting-edge multidisciplinary research specialising in digital health, big data cultures, surveillance, wearable technology, and risk. The panel will discuss how to integrate theory and research findings along with an interactive Q and A session.

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Theorising Digital Change: Workshopping the relationship between digital theory and research

  1. 1. Workshopping the relationship between digital theory and research 26 November 2015 Coordinated by: Stefanie Duguay (@DugStef) & Carlos Estrada Grajales (@carlestrada87) #TDCworkshop Theorising Digital Change
  2. 2. THEORY • “A system of ideas intended to explain something” – Google • “Assumptions about how the world basically operates and about what knowledge is” – Hadden, 2007 • How we make sense of data and how data fits into a larger picture Marxism Structuralism Post-modernism Critical theory Legal frameworks Symbolic interactionism Political economy Feminism Risk theory Queer theory Actor Network Theory Materialism Phenomenology Critical race theory Public sphere theory Orientalism Institutional theory Reception theory Freudian theory Narrative theory Literary theory Semiotics Frame theory Democracy theory
  3. 3. DATA • “Facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis” – Google • “We associate reality with empirical data” gathered through “perceptions” – Sears, 2005 Stories Experiences Statistics Photos Videos Interviews Texts Observations Field notes Historical records Media articles Organizational docs Legal proceedings Art News trends Geo-coordinates Diaries Experiments Population trends Market fluctuations Case studies Image from Giphy
  4. 4. Digital Change • Shifting of people, relationships, institutions, geographies, urban landscapes, and society in relation to new digital technologies New & Different Data Emails Blogs Tweets Hyperlinks Digital designs Selfies Vlogs GIFs Shares & Likes Comments Software architectures New & Different Theories Computational turn (Berry) Hashtag publics (Bruns, Burgess) Networked publics (boyd, etc) Memetics (Shifman, etc) Big data ethics (boyd & Crawford) Digital self-presentation (Goffman 2.0) Media life (Deuze) Post-panoptic surveillance (Lyon) Microcelebrity (Senft) Professional presence bleed (Gregg) Affect theory (Papacharissi, etc) Photo from Urban Informatics
  5. 5. New & Different Syntheses • Opportunities for creativity and innovation • Linked with existing knowledge, identifying continuities • Producing robust, insightful, applicable research into the future