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Exploring methodological innovation in the social sciences: the body in digital environments and the arts

Jewitt, C; Xambo, A; Price, S; (2016) Exploring methodological innovation in the social sciences: the body in digital environments and the arts. International Journal of Social Research Methodology pp. 1-16. 10.1080/13645579.2015.1129143. Green open access

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Abstract

In this paper we examine methodological innovation in the social sciences through a focus on researching the body in digital environments. There are two strands to our argument as to why this is a useful site to explore methodological innovation in the social sciences. First, researching the body in digital environments places new methodological demands on social science. Second, as an area of interest at the intersection of the social sciences and the arts, it provides a focus for exploring how social science innovation can be informed by engagement with the arts, in this instance how the arts work with the body in digital environments and take up social science ideas in novel ways. We argue that social science engagement with the arts and the relatively unmapped terrain of the body in digital environments has the potential to open up spaces for innovative social science questions and methods: spaces, questions and methods that have potential for more general social science methodological innovation. We draw on the findings of the Methodological Innovation in Digital Arts and Social Sciences (MIDAS) project a multi-site ethnography of the research ecologies of the social sciences and the arts related to the body in digital environments. We propose a continuum of methodological innovation that attends to how methods are moved across research contexts and disciplines, in this instance the social sciences and the digital arts. We illustrate and discuss the innovative potential of expanding and re-situating methods across the social sciences and the arts, the transfer of methods and concepts across disciplinary borders and the interdisciplinary generation of new methods. We discuss the catalysts and challenges for social science methodological innovation in relation to the digital and the arts, with attention to how the social sciences might engage with the arts towards innovative research.

Type: Article
Title: Exploring methodological innovation in the social sciences: the body in digital environments and the arts
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/13645579.2015.1129143
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2015.1129143
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Methodological innovation, social science methods, arts methods, digital technologies, body
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474822
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