Social Science and Digital Worlds: New Technologies, Old Methods

Sociology Graduate Conference

Social Science and Digital Worlds: New Technologies, Old Methods

Wednesday 21st October 2015 University of Leicester

Keynote speakers: Prof Bob Carter

Prof Jason Hughes

Prof Celia Lury

Call for Papers

The first Sociology Graduate Conference at the University of Leicester will gather masters and PhD students to explore the implications of emerging information and communications technology. The conference is a platform to encourage discussion about the changes that digitalization has brought to the social worlds and new social phenomena. We seek both theoretical and empirical contributions on the status, limitations and problems that social methods – both qualitative and quantitative – currently encounter, as well as the new lines of inquiry that have been opened up because of digital methodological innovations.

Participants will explore the role of social science at a time where citizens, companies and governments are continuously generating, sharing and processing data. Researchers now face challenges to data access, analysis, and dissemination that raise ethical issues related to copy right, data protection, privacy and surveillance. For instance, knowledge dissemination is vital to the advancement of social methods, even creating new links between social researchers and actors, yet it also requires far-reaching revisions to our ethical procedures. We encourage graduate students to present case studies on these topics, and also to show how they deal with these questions in their own research, and to discuss the solutions they reached.

The interest that ICTs have generated in social sciences might render other social processes invisible, which are equally worthy of study, for example social inequality or the role of vulnerable subjects in transnational capitalism. And although offline activity has a long research history in the social sciences, with the use of valid and reliable methods, the appearance of an ‘online’ sphere has created new implications for carrying out studies into both spheres. In this regard, we welcome contributions illuminating these social processes that either are difficult to study with digital methodologies or require the collaboration between “old” and “new” methods. The conference will deal with the challenges, risks and new possibilities that the digital turn brings for methodologies in social sciences, but also will revise the mere notion of “traditional methods”.

The conference will bring together postgraduate researchers from social sciences and humanities engaged in the interdisciplinary studies related to ICTs. The event will give them the opportunity to exchange views about their area of research. Suggestions for presentations topics include, but are not limited to:

*  digital social research and its implications
*  understanding Big Data
*  researching social media and the issues it raises
*  online identity and risk
*  social media and social change
*  people’s relationships with digital media
*  online activist communities and civic media activism
*  surveillance, privacy and conflict in the digital public sphere
*  media, culture and gender
*  web user experience
*  open knowledge and data sharing

Please send your abstract proposal (300 words) and a brief biographical note in a Word document to conferencepgsoc AT leicester.ac.uk

***********The deadline for applications is 5 pm on Monday 31st July *************************

Conference registration:

Delegate rate £10 (conference fee includes refreshments, lunch and printed materials)

Registration will open on the 1st of August

Website: https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/sociology/research/conferences-and-workshops/sociology-postgraduate-conference


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