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Hack is a Feminist Issue

08/11/2010

Tomorrow (Tuesday November 9th),  the Learning Sciences Research Institute here at Nottingham University is having an Open Day. Within this are a schedule of talks including my own short presentation on bricolage and interdisciplinary working. I make my presentation at 9.30am, following Dr Charles Crook and Prof. Mike Sharples. 

In this short presentation I will talk about the realities of articulating digital research in the field. Increasingly new digital tools and media are available to researchers, each offering a new affordance in terms of data collection. These can emerge over the course of a PhD project. The pragmatics of research mean that we may often draw on such tools, however, there appears to be a tension between this apparently pick-and-mix approach and the wider theoretical demands of methodology grounded in a particular paradigm, discipline or theory. This is not a new problem, this sort of ‘hacking’ for research purposes has theoretical lineage in sociology, where it is known as bricolage. Viewing research hacking activities through this sociological lens exposes the value of bricolage as an agile, economical, interdisciplinary, feminist and anti-hegemonic undertaking. Using examples from accessibility and my own digital disability research, I introduce and recommend bricolage as the Swiss-Army Knife of research approaches. 

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