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Live Sociology: Practising Social Research with New Media


After two years of trying, I’ve managed to enlist on the final year of GoldsmithsLiveSociology course. This is an ESRC sponsored series of 5 day workshops focusing on the applied practise of social research with New Media.  Since my data collection is imminent, this is of particular relevance to me at this very moment!

The first session begins next weekend (7th/8th March 2008).  Prof Les Back (Sociology, Goldsmiths) and Paul Halliday (a filmmaker, digital artist and Convenor of Goldsmiths’ MA Photography and Urban Cultures programme) will lead the first workshop – covering the outline the structure and aims of the course and then leading into areas such as locating the context of online methods in qualitative social research and introduce the project-based nature of the course.

Although I’ve completed an MA in Research Methods, coverage of data collection focused heavily on traditional foundation methods. Since then I’ve used screen and voice capture, video and photography as modes of data collection, but I’m looking to learn more to achieve a more flexible approach to interview situations in particular. The course cites several aims, including gaining a better understanding of the philosophical underpinnings of sociological representation, exploring how representation informs epistemology and understanding the opportunities that new media offer for participatory research amongst others.  I’ll report back on my transformation accordingly!

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