I’m going to be at quite a few conferences this summer, starting off with the Australian Sociological Association conference in Melbourne. But just prior to that, I’m lucky enough to be hosted by Deakin in a seminar that reflects on my PhD journey. I’ll be talking about trying to theorise digital media together with gender and other intersections, and am interested to hear of others’ experiences with similar research.
Here’s the abstract and details:
Dr Akane Kanai (University of Newcastle): Researching gender on a “new” platform – pitfalls, problems and practical advice from a Tumblr case study.
Friday 25 November, 10.30am – 12.00pm. Deakin University Melbourne City Centre, Level 3, 550 Bourke Street.
See reception for room number. Virtual Meeting Point: ARTSED VMP SHSS. Direct dial number: (+613) 5223 9354.
Abstract: In this paper, I want to reflect and invite discussion on some of the questions that accompany attempting to research digital media and gender. Can one be an expert in ‘both’? This question, essentialist as it might be, frames some of the tensions in undertaking work at the ‘intersections’ of a medium and a social identity. In my PhD, I explored youthful femininities on Tumblr, femininities, evidently, that were always already shaped by cultures of race and class as well as gender. On a ‘new’ or relatively under-researched space like Tumblr, the importance of adequately theorising the ‘medium’, i.e. the specificity of the platform, becomes even more significant. However, I have found it useful to draw on much broader, interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks to situate digital media in a non-technologically deterministic way. Looking beyond scholarship that replicated my focus on gender and digital media, my own work has been much informed by feminist scholarship on the sociology of labour, the sociology of emotion, literature, and queer and postcolonial cultural studies outside of digital media research.
This presentation will run for approximately 40 minutes and will be followed by a discussion where participants are invited to share their experiences of researching digital media. Doctoral and early career researchers are encouraged to participate in this forum to discuss methodological, theoretical and ethical aspects of doing digital social research.
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