[email protected] Synthesis Report – Research Design

This report sets out the main methodological, conceptual and theoretical premises that will inform the fieldwork that is to be done in these thematic areas and points to the prospects for bringing together and synthesizing the research findings and results at the end of the project. The report attempts, more importantly, to highlight the interconnections amongst the thematic research areas, and shows that they should not be seen as disparate fields of enquiry. In the first section, thus, the report analyses the common concepts and methods that cut across all the research thematic fields. In the second section, the report presents in more detail the research in each one of the thematic areas.



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Mapping the digitalisation of migration

In parallel with the research design all the teams have worked collaboratively in order to identify some key online sites and networks that will be studied through various methodological tools in each of the thematic packages. This work was organised through the usage of the social bookmarking web tool delicious.com/mignetproject. 174 key sites have been bookmarked, thus far, and have been linked to several keywords/tags that form the project’s conceptual framework. This bookmarking of online sources has been mapped through three different methods that emanate from three different aesthetic forms.

First, through database aesthetics. The sub-site that was created for the collection of the online is in fact a mini database (http://www.delicious.com/mignetproject/). Its structure does not “order this list” of sources in a predefined way and there is no central narrative that can represent it. The navigation of this sub-site reveals the multiple possibilities of re-using and re-ordering this list of sources and of creating alternate visual representations of it. The sub-site functions as a kind of digital map based on what Manovich calls the aesthetic of the database (Manovich, 2001) .

Second, through geolocation aesthetics. All 174 online sources have been placed on an interactive web map according to the various topologies that have been linked with them through the bookmarking that the research teams did. This map is publicly available at http://www.mignetproject.eu/apps/map/

Third, through online video aesthetics. The online sources that were collected by the research teams were used in the creation of 7 online videos – 1 per each thematic package. Each video attempts a conceptual mapping of the sites and networks that were chosen by the research teams, trying to capture the main theoretical premises that will inform the fieldwork. The videos are available at http://www.youtube.com/mignetproject.

These three mappings are not supposed to complement or refute one another. They, are supposed to be seen, instead, as operationalising an understanding of the process of mapping as the co-presence of a multiplicity of perspectives and performances.

WP3 Outline – Research Design on Digital Networks, Migration and Gender

Work package 3 aims to:

- to map official and unofficial transnational digital networks and examine the extent to which their production, appeal and participatory base is transnational in character and allows migrant participation

- to identify appropriate digital networks to be studied in depth in each one of the thematic areas and outline appropriate research methodologies to apply during the fieldwork


Read the Work package Outline

Research design – Overview

The aim of our research will be to:

- To map official and unofficial transnational digital networks, including EU and memberstate initiatives for creating interactive cultural platforms (epractice.eu, interculturaldialogue2008.eu/, michael-culture.eu/); popular multimedia sharing websites which have radically increased the economic and cultural significance of what has been termed as ‘user-generated content’ (YouTube for videos, MySpace for music, Flickr for photography); alternative participative media platforms which have given rise to what has been termed ‘grassroots journalism’ (Indymedia, the blogosphere); participatory websites using the model of collaborative knowledge production (wikipedia, edufactory.org, Rhizome, ArtEducation 2.0); peer-to-peer platforms that have enabled unmediated communication and the unmediated distribution of cultural artifacts (Skype for voice and text communication, BitTorrent for file exchange, SopCast for live broadcasting of TV programs); instant communications tools enabling the proliferation of new communities (Twitter for SMS like social networking, Facebook for social networking based on user profiles) and examine the extent to which their production, appeal and participatory base is transnational in character and allows migrant participation.

- To identify appropriate digital networks to be studied in depth in each one of the thematic areas and outline appropriate research methodologies to apply during fieldwork of the project.