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Qualitative digital methods: transforming methodologies 
Ronja Trischler (Technische Universität Dortmund)
Johannes Paßmann (Ruhr University Bochum)
Lisa Gerzen (Ruhr University Bochum)
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Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

The panel aims to revive the methodological dialogue between STS and Digital Methods by asking what a consistent understanding of Digital Methods as a qualitative methodology might look like.

Long Abstract:

This panel aims to advance the dialogue between Science and Technology Studies and Digital Methods about their shared claims to qualitative methodologies. This dialogue has been ongoing since the early years of DM, as they were partly developed within, or at least with reference to, STS. Over time, however, significant parts of DM have evolved their own research logics. In order to harness the richness of digital data, they have proposed and developed novel ways of integrating non-human actors, in particular a wide range of tools and digital sources, into research procedures and point to the extensive ways in which digital data challenge traditional understandings of situated action – and thus of how to research it. However, the provision of large amounts of data and the development of digital tools to analyse them have often paid less attention to the qualitative origins and potentials of DM: digital tools often focus on the processes and operations of conducting digital media research, rather than explicitly discussing the methodological implications and potentials of these procedures. In particular, core questions of STS – such as the performativity of methods and research tools, and their implications for power relations in academic knowledge production – also have often remained unanswered. The panel will discuss how the methodological dialogue between DM and STS can be revived and how this can contribute to the advancement of both. In the panel discussions, we aim to draw on STS traditions to challenge and promote qualitative methods and methodologies with regard to their performativity in research practice and the diverse and messy participation of new technologies and media in this process. One of the most pressing questions we are considering is what a consistent understanding of DM as a qualitative methodology might look like.

Accepted papers:

Session 1