Well, it has finally happened, what feels like a substantial part of my adult life has finally moved through the tube of personal processing, doctoral research and into book format. Research Methods and Global Online Communities: A case study draws upon my mixed methods research into the global community of people interested in reptiles and amphibians (aka Herpers) to illustrate how to conduct a community study in the digital age.
To celebrate, I am launching my book at the Big Bang Studio, a community minded and creative space for artists. The launch will take place on Friday, 16th October (2015) between 6-9pm, so come down to check this one off exhibition and shinding.
In the book, you’ll find a conceptual discussion realigning our understandings of the construction of community and binding the polarised environments of online activities with offline and inperson relationships through an environmental approach, to which I give the handle ‘social ecology’. The middle section of the book binds the conceptual advances with a methodological approach, looking at how quantitative and qualitative methods can speak to the technological layer (place, technology and the built environment), the social layer (patterns of social organisation) and the mediating culture of a community. The final section of the book breaks this down and draws on the case study of the herper community to illustrate how to identify community place, composition, boundaries and mechanisms of cohesion. This is a particular feat for studying digital community, which is characterised by an open social structure, global distribution and technological mediation.
The book is targeted at postgraduate researchers and early career researchers across the social sciences, yet is likely to be a ‘good read’ for most people with a curiosity for unusual social history, stigmatised populations and how technology and society reconfigure each other. In this book, the internet is positioned as both the backbone and central nervous system of community and the Herpers, its resilient travellers across time and space in search of the biggest, brightest and rarest of reptiles.
More about the book and the 50% off promo code can be found on this swanky flyer provided by Ashgate for me to sprinkle around. Feel free to share it.
The amazing cover art of the book was provided by the talented Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic and I fully encourage you to check out his work.