Social Research and Multiple Modalities: Epistemic Opportunities, Challenges and Barriers in Addressing Social Complexity

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 15:30-17:20
RC57 Visual Sociology (host committee)

Language: Spanish and English

This session will examine the epistemic, analytic and methodological affordances and limitations of engaging with multiple modalities when doing social research (such as written, oral, visual, photographic and multimedia modalities). Sociologists and other social science researchers work in contexts where participants use multiple means to produce and communicate meanings and viewpoints. Research participants produce oral and written utterances, images, music, artifacts, and performances, which assume a variety of forms and distinctive materiality. As social researchers, we are often called on to critically examine these multiple modes of communication as contextually participating in broader discourses. To do so, we need to take a transdisciplinary approach, draw on tools offered in a variety of disciplines and be able to move across disciplinary boundaries. This kind of endeavour requires collaborative research approaches.

This session invites papers that explore how we produce knowledge when engaging multiple modalities in our data collection and record keeping practices. We are particularly interested in discussing: i) how we produce fieldnotes or records via multitextual/multiple registers; ii) what kinds of obstacles and opportunities researchers face when recording, organising and analysing different sorts of communicative “data”; iii) what kinds of analytic trajectories researchers have followed to interpret their multitextual fieldnotes or records; iv) what epistemic and theoretical opportunities this kind of data collection has to offer; and v) the relationships between the integration of multiple modalities in social research.

Session Organizers:
Ana Inés HERAS, CEDESI-UNSAM- CONICET and INCLUIR - Instituto para la Inclusión Social, Argentina, Carolina CAMBRE, Concordia University, Canada and Analia MEO, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
Oral Presentations
Quality of Life, Social Quality and Societal Sustainability: A Diagrammatic Multi-Dimensional, Multi-Level Framework
Richard PIEPER, University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Finland; Marja VAARAMA, University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Finland
Using Sensitive Visual Data: Interdisciplinary Approaches for Developing New Ethically Informed Methodologies
Ebba SUNDIN, Halmstad University, Sweden; Henrik STENBERG, Halmstad University, Sweden; Carin STALAND, Halmstad University, Sweden; Linus ANDERSSON, Halmstad University, Sweden
China’s Urbanization: Dealing with the Complexity of Fieldwork Practices and Data Analysis
Valentina ANZOISE, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy, Italy; Luca GHIROTTO, Department of Life Quality Studies, University of Bologna, Italy; Debora SLANZI, European Centre for Living Technology, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy; Irene POLI, European Centre for Living Technology, Italy
Distributed Papers
Understanding Young People's Use and Experience of Digital Media: A Multi-Modal Approach
Valerie CAMPBELL, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada; Janet LOEBACH, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada
See more of: RC57 Visual Sociology
See more of: Research Committees