Case Studies

These case studies provide an overview of my experience in research direction, project management, stakeholder engagement, empirical investigation, and research dissemination. They represent a range of research objectives proper to academic and industry environments.


1. Digital Ethnography

Digital Queer Discourse

Role: Lead Ethnographer, Project Manager, Writer, Editor

Context
The internet has facilitated the emergence of digital spaces targeted at LGBTQIA+ users. This project examined the development of this ecosystem and its discourses, in which different ideas about what it means to be queer are openly contested and articulated both implicitly and explicitly.

Methods
This project was based primarily on an 18-month digital ethnography of a LGBTQIA+ social network site. Multiple methods were employed, mainly interviews (including via personal messaging), participant-observation (both online and offline), and computer-mediated discourse analysis.

Roles & Participants
As this was a personal research project, I served as the lead ethnographer and project manager, as well as the author and editor of all project outputs. Research participants included several site users who provided direct engagement and a larger cohort featured in sampled content.

Outcomes
Initially conducted as part of a 2-year master programme, this research resulted in multiple additional outputs, including a peer-reviewed publication and multiple conference papers, including a paper presented at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting in San Francisco in November 2012.


2. Stakeholder Engagement

Reflexive Large-Group Evaluation for Anthropology

Role: Lead Ethnographer, Project Manager

Context
Anthropology traditionally was learned at the graduate level in the context of the supervisor/supervisee relationship. This project examined how students in the large-group context of modern undergraduate anthropology adapt to this new learning context with the goal of developing new evaluation mechanisms.

Methods
The project relied primarily on ethnographic participant-observation and interviews. Participant-observation focused on lectures and tutorials across the anthropology undergraduate programme. Interviews were conducted with 5+ students in each year of the programme.

Roles & Participants
I was lead ethnographer on the project, with responsibility for recruitment and data collection. Participants consisted of multiple stakeholders within the Department of Anthropology, including undergraduate students (across years 1, 2 and 3), module and year tutors, and assorted teaching faculty.

Outcomes
Anonymised findings were filtered back to the principal investigators in order to adapt evaluation structures within the department. I used findings about points of student engagement and disengagement to inform my own module design, including course content, experimental assessment, and module literature.


3. Political Identity

Voices of Outrage

Role: Principal Investigator, Project Manager, Writer, Editor

Context
Media transform the ability to create cultural articulations of political identity that link such factors as race, gender, and belonging. These can be publicly constituted as matters of deep contestation and, increasingly, sources of social conflict. This project focuses on representations of the role of the audience in the mediation of such antagonism, relating this to novel infrastructures of media ownership, control, and financing.

Methods
This project was initially based on a thematic analysis of 5,288 user-generated comments drawn from a sample of 30 articles published on a conservative media website across a 6-month period preceding and in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 US Presidential Election. The methodological scope has now been expanded to include interviews, content analysis, and computational social science methods (including text mining).

Roles & Participants
I serve as principal investigator and project manager on this project. As it is a personal research project, I also produce and edit all project outputs. Forthcoming research will focus on user-generated commenters across an international sample of right- and left-leaning media, as well as a small number of “elite” and alternative media figures.

Outcomes
This research began as my doctoral research project, which was supported by a highly-competitive National University of Ireland Travelling Studentship. Alongside numerous conference papers, currently one peer-reviewed article is published, with several more planned. This research now serves as the basis of a Visiting Fellowship at LSE’s Department of Media and Communications.


4. Digital Storytelling

Social Mobility in the Digital Age

Role: Project Manager, Lead Researcher, Writer, Editor, Producer

Context
In spite of commonly held beliefs about the relationship between hard work and opportunity, social mobility is a dream that increasingly evades the reach of many. This project explored how emerging digital economies are impacting these processes.

Methods
This project consisted largely of document analysis and statistical analysis pertaining to emerging digital economies and economic and demographic realities in OECD countries. Quantitative data sources included OECD and Eurostat.

Roles & Participants
I served as project manager, lead researcher, writer, editor, and producer. I managed relations with external research and creative agencies and coordinated internal research and writing responsibilities, whilst providing research direction and contributing to content production.

Outcomes
This project focused on techniques of digital storytelling as a technique of dissemination and engagement. The project was released in two parts: A Promise Broken and Economic Opportunities for our Avatars. The project was recognised by Awwwards (Part 1 & Part 2) and Webby Awards.


5. Creative Methods

Media City London

Role: Research Intern Coordinator

Context
Media City London sought to engage in creative knowledge co-production with urban communities and institutions through public events and engagement with citizens, civil society, and public institutions in the context of the Media@LSE platform. It featured a number of projects led by department faculty.

Methods
A range of methods were used across the various projects. Two of the projects consisted of content analysis focusing on British and international news coverage of specific topics. One of the projects focused more broadly on experimental and creative methods, including visual techniques such as mapping and film.

Roles & Participants
I managed relationships between faculty project leads and more than 70 student interns, providing methodological training and guidance, administering submission, and collating findings. Interns were drawn from across the graduate programmes in LSE’s Department of Media and Communications.

Outcomes
The project focused on creative forms of research dissemination. One of the projects resulted in the a publication of a digital report on media representations of 5G technology. Another project resulted in multimedia contributions to a virtual exhibition featuring the transdisciplinary research of students and faculty.