The Inchoate Field of Digital Offline: A Reflection on Studying Mobile Media Practices of Digital Subalterns in India

Rashmi, M (2017) The Inchoate Field of Digital Offline: A Reflection on Studying Mobile Media Practices of Digital Subalterns in India. Digital Culture and Society, 3 (2). pp. 219-228.

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Abstract: This article reflects on studying mobile phones as digital technologies, while much of the scholarly preoccupation thus far has been to study them as communication technologies. Based on the doctoral study on subaltern users and their mobile media digital practices in India, it discusses some of the theoretical issues and outlines methodological possibilities while entering the field. It makes distinction between the theoretical orientations of techno-sociality and sociality of technology, and highlights the significance of adopting the latter to study new socialities that are emerging due to human interaction with technology. It discusses some challenges of doing qualitative research in new media contexts and suggests measures for overcoming them. In this regard, it reviews the suitability of virtual ethnography and participant observation as methodological approaches to mobile phones. While the popular trend has been to resort to technologised tools of data collection and processing (even within qualitative research in new media and digital technologies) this article suggests and discusses the usefulness of a more basic, yet powerful method of long interview to study users and document their practices. It concludes how such a choice can also be regardful of some ethical issues involved in studying user practices on mobile phones.
Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright belongs to the Publisher
Subjects: School of Social Sciences > Sociology
Divisions: Schools > Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2018 10:27
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2018 10:46
Official URL: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/dcs.2017.3.issue-...
Related URLs:
    Funders: UNSPECIFIED
    Projects: UNSPECIFIED
    URI: http://eprints.nias.res.in/id/eprint/1385

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