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Assessing the confluence of digital and physical meetings: a toolbox for digital media research 
Christian Ritter (Karlstad University)
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Confluence, collaboration and intersection
FASS Building Meeting Room 1
Start time:
27 July, 2018 at
Time zone: Europe/London
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

This workshop invites STS scholars who seek to understand the digital transformations that meeting cultures of knowledge-intensive professionals undergo. Attendees will employ internet research techniques and develop methodologies for researching meetings within the physical-digital continuum. Pre-register via

Long Abstract:

This participatory workshop will bring together scholars of science and technology studies who share the aim to unmask the role of social media platforms in meeting cultures evolving within communities of knowing. Knowledge-intensive professionals, including engineers, consultants, software developers, scientists, doctors and educators, organise ritualised and hierarchised meetings to network and exchange ideas. Such external meetings have long occurred in physical spaces, where alignments are negotiated and assemblages are formed. However, numerous digital spaces enabling semi-public encounters emerged following the rise of social media platforms. This workshop critically examines how such platforms transform meeting cultures within communities of knowing. Knowledge-intensive professionals keep meeting in physical settings, such as hotels, universities and company premises, but increasingly interact with one another on social media platforms before, during and after external meetings. Physical proximity is often extended by remote presence and collaboration. Many professionals thus balance physical travel with engagement in digital spaces. The workshop will deliver a toolbox for unravelling the various digital practices surrounding meetings in knowledge-intensive professions. Ethical guidelines for internet research and strategies for integrating internet research techniques with traditional social science methods will be furthermore discussed. In the first part of the workshop, attendees will become familiar with recent internet research techniques, such as digital ethnography and the walkthrough method. In the second part, participants will form small groups to develop methodologies for understanding meetings within the physical-digital continuum. Participants are encouraged to pre-circulate statements on their current research projects.

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