Thursday March 18th from 7-8:30PM EST: "Affinity Space Ethnography: Exploring Qualitative Methods for Studying Online Spaces"
[you can check your time zone at https://www.thetimezoneconverter.com ]
Affinity spaces are sites of informal learning where groups — perhaps knitters and fiber artists, fans of a movie or game, or members of a writing circle — interact around a "common endeavor" (Gee, 2004, p. 85). They may be physical, virtual or blended spaces, and they are often spread across many "portals" of conversation and action, such as social media hashtags, face-to-face meetings, message boards, blogs, or web pages. This salon brings education researchers who specialize in the exploration of writing and other literacy practices in online spaces into conversation with our qualitative psychology research community to examine connections and to learn from each other. Based on a decade of collaborative and individual research, the panelists have developed and continue to refine qualitative methods for tracing participation and understanding interaction in online spaces. What we have observed is that despite physical and temporal separation, members of online affinity spaces work and learn together, often establishing meaningful relationships; co-authoring artifacts; and maintaining sites, communities, or hashtags. To trace the development of affinity spaces and what participants learn from taking part in them, we examine the complex artifacts and texts that constitute online and blended social practices.
The panelists will begin by collectively introducing affinity space ethnography (Lammers, et al., 2012). Then each will share a snapshot of how they have implemented this methodology in various studies and what this work looks like. These snapshots explore questions about how to make initial research design decisions that guide the study of complex networked spaces, how participants traverse different tools or parts of online spaces, and how youth writers move between online and face-to-face spaces to develop their craft. Discussant Ashley Maynard, director of the Culture and Human Development Lab at the University of Hawai`i, will then provide comment, and audience members will have the opportunity for Q&A.
Please register for this event at https://www.crowdcast.io/sqip and share widely--free and open to the public!