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