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PhD course

Understanding media experience: Ethnographic methods and conceptual debates

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeMEVI904
  • Resources

Main content

Course description

Language of instruction

English

Course content

Join us in Bergen in June 2022 for lively discussions and new insights on how to research media experiences with qualitative and ethnographic methods! This course is intended for PhD candidates in media and communications and related fields, interested in understanding the meanings of media in lifeworlds and social contexts, in digital and datafied societies.

Through four days of discussions, lectures and workshops with leading scholars of media ethnography and digital media use, the course offers a space for in-depth learning and reflection, as well as networking and social activities. PhD candidates from any institution might apply, and the course is free of charge, although candidates must cover their own travel and accommodation. The course offers a flexible credits model in which candidates might choose between a full (10 ECTS) and partial (5 ECTS) credits model with different coursework obligations.

The PhD course is a collaboration between two leading Nordic research environments for audience studies: Bergen Media Use Research Group, and the research group Audiences and Mediated Life, Roskilde.

This course provides in-depth learning and reflection regarding media ethnography and advanced qualitative approaches in media use and audience research. How can we analyse the complex role of media in digital, datafied and media-saturated societies? How can we capture with clarity as well as complexity how media is part of the lifeworld of different audiences and users?

How can we analyse media experiences across time, across digital and social arenas, or research embodied aspects of media use? After the COVID-19 pandemic, how are approaches and insights in media ethnography affected by restrictions in physical fieldwork and by pivots to digital methods and tools?

The course focuses on ethnographic approaches in a broad sense, understanding these as qualitative methods interested in in-depth understanding of social contexts, lifeworld and experiences, broadly relevant to user perspectives in media and communication scholarship. Through lectures from leading audience scholars, workshops and feedback sessions, the course provides insights into innovative methodological techniques and epistemological and conceptual debates, and constitutes a forum for reflexivity and discussion

Learning outcomes

10 ECTS (full course):

Upon successful completion of this course the participants should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of methodological and conceptual debates regarding research into media experiences in datafied society, and clearly outline and express key arguments from such debates orally and in writing
  • Demonstrate knowledge of classic and innovative approaches to media ethnography, specifically drawing on the literature assigned to the course, on topics such as analyzing media use over time, conducting digital ethnography, researching embodied aspects of media use, or understanding socio-cultural contexts
  • Identify and explain methodological challenges in ethnographic media research, and reflect upon practical choices and ethical considerations
  • Design research plans and develop analytical approaches suited to investigate specific problem formulations or theoretical interests in qualitative media research
  • Reflect upon possibilities and challenges for ethnographic media research with digital tools and in physical arenas, learning from experiences from the pandemic
  • Engage in peer discussions on methodological challenges in a productive, reflective and supportive manner
  • Prepare and present a short paper on a methodological challenge relevant to the participant´s PhD research, and revise it into a full paper drawing on feedback from the course

5 ECTS (partial course):

Upon successful completion of this course the participants should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of methodological and conceptual debates regarding research into media experiences in datafied society, and clearly outline and express key arguments from such debates
  • Demonstrate knowledge of classic and innovative approaches to media ethnography, specifically drawing on the literature assigned to the course, on topics such as analyzing media use over time, conducting digital ethnography, researching embodied aspects of media use, or understanding socio-cultural contexts
  • Identify and explain methodological challenges in ethnographic media research, and reflect upon practical choices and ethical considerations
  • Design research plans and develop analytical approaches suited to investigate specific problem formulations or theoretical interests in qualitative media research
  • Reflect upon possibilities and challenges for ethnographic media research with digital tools and in physical arenas, learning from experiences from the pandemic
  • Engage in peer discussions on methodological challenges in a productive, reflective and supportive manner
  • Prepare and present a short paper on a methodological challenge relevant to the participant´s PhD research

Study period

7 june - 10 June 2022

Credits (ECTS)

The full course yields 10 ECTS

Partial course yields 5 ECTS

Specific terms

Course registration and deadlines

Application deadline: March 1st 2022

Participants apply for admission here

As part of your application, please submit a letter no longer than 2 pages, briefly outlining the topic an methods of your PhD project, as well as your motivation for taking part in the course.

Registration deadline: May 1st 2022

Draft essay deadline: June 1st 2022

Compulsory Requirements

Full course (10 ECTS):

  • Draft essay (4000 words approx.) to be submitted before the course and presented in the course sessions, outlining a methodological challenge in the individual PhD project.
  • Full participation in lectures and workshops

Partial course (5 ECTS):

  • Draft essay (4000 words approx.) to be submitted before the course and presented in the course sessions, outlining a methodological challenge in the individual PhD project.
  • Full participation in lectures and workshops.

Form of assessment

Full course (10 ECTS):

  • 7000 word (approx.) essay to be submitted within three months after the course, building on a revised and expanded version of the draft essay, and integrating feedback from course sessions

Partial course (5 ECTS):

  • 4000 word (approx.) essay to be submitted before the course
  • Presentation of this work in course sessions

The reduced credits model is similar to full participation, with the exception that candidates will not have to re-submit a full essay after the course and have this approved

Who may participate

The course will be relevant to PhD candidates in media and communication studies, digital culture, journalism studies, and to candidates in sociology, anthropology, or other social sciences or humanities, conducting qualitative research on media use in social and cultural contexts.

Addtional information

Programme

Full programme to be published later. The programme will build on the same model as former courses in the RUC/ Bergen Media Use Research Group collaboration, including a combination of lectures, workshops and discussion sessions, with extensive and active student involvement.

Day 1: Introduction. Student paper (draft essay) feedback sessions in groups, with short presentations from students and comments from lecturers and fellow students. This feedback will feed into full paper submission after the course for the full credits model, and will constitute a form of assessment for the partial credits model.

Day 2: Morning lecture (proposed topic: Internet ethnography), followed by plenary Q&A and group discussions. Afternoon workshop on research design dilemmas.

Day 3: Morning lecture (proposed topic: Researching datafication in the everyday), followed by plenary Q&A and group discussions. Afternoon workshop on research ethics dilemmas.

Day 4: Morning lecture (proposed topic: Media experiences across time and social space), followed by plenary Q&A and group discussions. Afternoon workshop on conceptual and analytical dilemmas

Contact

Ola Roth Johnsen, Department of Information Science and Media Studies

Academic responsibility

Hallvard Moe, professor of media studies, UiB
Brita Ytre-Arne, professor of media studies, UiB

Lecturers

Lecturers and instructors:

Christine Hine, professor, University of Surrey,
Jannie Møller Hartley, associate professor Roskilde University,
Chris Peters, professor Roskilde University,
Jan Fredrik Hovden, professor University of Bergen

Reading list

Approximately 800 pages. The reading list will consist of a core body of 500 pages (one book on internet ethnography and a collection of key articles). In addition, each lecturer will suggest 2 texts (journal articles or book chapters) for their lectures.

Course location

University of Bergen - Faculty of social sciences or Media City Bergen

Contact

Study period

7 june - 10 June 2022