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[ecrea] call for papers merzWissenschaft 2017 - Between Digital Humanities and Subject Orientation
Fri Feb 17 15:37:33 GMT 2017
Once more Id like to call your attention for the call for papers of
/merzWissenschaft/ 2017. The issue of this number is dealing with the
challenges of computer-based research and Big Data Analytics in social
science research. Researchers of all social science disciplines are
invited to contribute with their thoughts and experiences.
*Social Science Research between Digital Humanities and Subject Orientation*
Responsible Editors: Prof. Dr. Heidrun Allert (Kiel University) and the
/merzWissenschaft /editorial team (JFF)
/merzWissenschaft /2017 is working to stimulate scientific reflection on
the challenges and consequences associated with the application of
computer-based procedures in social science research and to anchor such
reflection in media literacy discourse. The objective is to formulate a
position regarding the application of digital procedures in scientific
activities and in doing so to address the question of how digital and
computer-based media literacy research is, can be and should be. The
spectrum to be considered ranges from new data collection methods (e. g.
integrated in apps) to the use of Big Data Analytics to evaluate large
and small and possibly personalized data inventories in order to derive
findings, up to and including the question of knowledge exchange and
availability. The focus is on both original media literacy research and
research in the relevant involved disciplines (Communication Sciences,
Education, Sociology, Psychology, Information Science, etc.).
According to Schrape (2016) the term 'Big Data' refers generally to
projected expectations of both utopias and dystopias. Given this tension
between expectation and apprehension, existing publications in the field
of media education are concerned primarily with the question of what
conclusions are to be drawn for media-educational practice.
However, Big Data Analytics are being attributed a new epistemological
access to social process. It is postulated that Data Mining approaches
are able to represent and analyze societal processes objectively and
independent of theoretical presuppositions, and that these approaches
can thus be considered superior to established methods of social science
research. This highlights the differences between 'data-driven' and
'theory-driven' scientific approaches, also marking a threshold beyond
which digital processes are not solely aids or tools for scientific
activities. The question is much more to what extent these procedures
conflict with central principles of social science research in general
and media literacy research in particular such as the subject
orientation and unique adequacy of data collection methods.
Correspondingly, social science research as well as media education as a
scientific discipline must confront such approaches in a
critical-reflective manner in order to confirm their theoretical and
methodological repertoire and when necessary to adopt data-driven
approaches or to reject them with sufficient justification.
Such critical reflection is a necessary concern when investigating the
extent to which central theoretical concepts (e. g. normative
orientation towards subject self-determination) are compatible with the
implications of the digital procedures and/or where conflicts occur in
this context. Here an important foundation is the encounter with human
images and the subjectivization processes in the relationships between
people, digital (media) systems and institutions as well as companies.
The opposing poles of this current discourse are evident on the one hand
in the prospect of computer-assisted humans as human-machine hybrids (or
cyborgs), in which the technologies employed expand the abilities of the
human to act. Such concepts contrast with theoretical traditions that
regard computerized evaluation and decision-making procedures as
limiting the human being's scope of action. Between these poles is the
position of the co-constitutive intermeshing of humans and technology,
where the qualities of both humans and technologies are emergent in
practice. In this view, the ability to act is not (only) expanded, but
rather qualitatively transformed. Thus representation of and reflection
on the question of which theoretical approaches and basic assumptions
are to be employed is an absolute prerequisite for the determination of
a media-educational position. This is in particular the case since the
platforms and technologies themselves already create or contribute to
the creation of reality and are never neutral with respect to the
objects relevant for media literacy research in particular and social
science research in general. This also has an impact on the associated
discussion and helps determine which questions and processes are at the
focus of social scientific observations.
At the same time the question arises as to who has access to relevant
data inventories and to what extent independent research is possible
using such data, since precisely that data generated in day-to-day media
activity is not freely accessible (for good reason). Nevertheless
digital service providers can accumulate an extensive amount of data
that they can then evaluate using the appropriate methods. The inherent
questions of disparate conditions and prerequisites for commercial and
academic research require particular reflection and critical
consideration in the societally relevant area of media literacy education.
/merzWissenschaft /2017 would like to call for theoretical or empirical
articles that address the topic areas outlined above from the point of
view of social science research and which can thus be instructive for
media education. Here topics may cover the following possible areas:
- What challenges are associated with media literacy issues in
scientific activities with respect to digitalization?
- What theoretical and normative questions arise in connection with the
relationships among humans media society with respect to
digitalization as a basis for media literacy research and practice?
- How does the current development of continuing digitalization impact
the concept of being human in research as well as in media-educational
- What new digital practices and methods are developing in media
literacy research and/or in related disciplines? How are these related
to central premises of the formation of theory such as orientation of
actions, subject orientation, etc.? How are they to be regarded in terms
of normative concepts such as media literacy and media literacy education?
- What current empirical findings have already been made through the
novel use of digital technologies in media literacy research and/or in
related scientific areas?
- What consequences are to be expected from the scientific encounter
with the relationships among humans digital media society for the
development of media literacy models?
/merzWissenschaft /provides a forum advancing scientific analysis in
media education and promoting progress in the theoretical foundation of
the discipline. In this capacity /merzWissenschaft/ is calling for
qualified papers from various relevant disciplines for the continuing
development of expert discussions on media literacy.
Of interest are original papers:
· - With an empirical or theoretical foundation
· - That present new findings, aspects or approaches to the topic
· - That are also explicitly related to one of the subareas or
topics outlined above or that explore a separate topic within the scope
of the overall context of the Call.
Abstracts with a maximum length of 6,000 characters (including blank
spaces) can be submitted to the /merz/- editorial team ((merz /at/ jff.de))
until no later than February 27, 2017. Submissions should follow the
/merzWissenschaft /layout specifications, available at
www.merz-zeitschrift.de (at merz >für autoren und autorinnen > style
guide merz). Please contact Susanne Eggert, tel. +49 89 68 989 152,
e-mail: (susanne.eggert /at/ jff.de) with any questions.
*Summary of Deadlines*
February 27, 2017: Submission of abstracts to (merz /at/ jff.de)
March 20, 2017: Final decision on acceptance/rejection of the abstracts
June 12, 2017: Submission of papers
June 12 to July 24, 2017: Assessment phase
August/September 2017: Revision phase (with multiple cycles, when
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