The session will be organized around a set of key ideas that emerged from the selected abstracts.
- Setting the context: A brief introduction to the work the speakers will be basing their discussion on.
- Selecting and designing the field site: How does the site being mediated/ a result of IMI inform this design? What are the considerations the speakers took into account in constructing the field site? Did they face specific challenges, given that they chose to study an IMI? What limitations did the IMI pose in their research design?
- Accessing field site/participants: How did the speakers go about identifying interactions as IMI; or gaining entry into specific Internet-mediated spaces (which may or may not be openly accessible)? How did they seek participation/ consent given the online nature of the IMI? How did they ensure a representative and rigorous sample?
- Doing the study: How did the speakers apply the textbook notions of methods in their study and how did these methods transform given the nature of IMI? What were the challenges that emerged in conducting such a study? How did they overcome these challenges?
- Ethics: What are the ethical concerns that arise out of tracking IMIs (issues of privacy, whose information, what information is public/private etc)? How and where is it possible to draw the line between being a researcher and a participant?
- Conflation of the online and the offline: Often the study of IMIs involves an offline interaction. Given the blurred boundaries of the offline and the online, how did the speakers bring together the two worlds? The power relations in terms of who gets to create, access and participate in IMI often remains hidden- how is it possible to take cognizance of these?
Speakers are requested to prepare a brief (around two pages) discussion note addressing these key ideas. They are also free to add any further ideas and share with us latest by the 25th of February. Please mail us a PDF, with the following naming convention: <First Author’s Name>_<Title>_SFTF_IRC17.pdf.