Researching from Home: A Methodological Case Study of Visual Social Medias

Authors: Madalena Monnier-Reyna*, George Washington University
Topics: Cultural Geography, Feminist Geographies, Qualitative Methods
Keywords: Social Media, Visual Methodology, Researching From Home, Protest Art
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 46
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Visual social medias such as Instagram and TikTok have become keystones of contemporary western culture. And while Geographers have begun to engage other sites such as Twitter, visual based social medias remain under-researched. As a great deal of culture and communication takes place on these platforms, and as Geographers it is necessary to begin tackling the volume of material waiting for us in these virtual spaces. Due to the ongoing pandemic, this project also presented an opportunity to explore adaptation of traditional feminist methods, such as interviewing and collection of data, from home. Researching from home considers questions which are applicable to field access based issues beyond the current pandemic, including research participant safety, conflict and violence, economic barriers, and disability. The paper uses a case study of Paris based feminist movement Les Colleuses and their social media presence to establish a framework for pivoting research towards visual based social medias. Building upon existing visual methodologies, social media content analysis, and feminist methodological principles, the paper creates a set of research methods for examining visual social medias as social artifacts and considers how to research without access to the physical field.

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