Who do We Think We (and They) Are? The Audience and the Researcher as Participants in Sociomaterial Practice

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Abstract

The article problematizes the ontological and epistemological separation of the audience researcher from the very audience the researcher wishes to investigate. After all, every researcher co-constitutes the research outcome, and every researcher can potentially be articulated also as audience participant. The text consequently suggests conceptualizing the researcher as well as the researched as participants in and contributors to sociomaterial practice by building on insights from Critical Psychology. Thinking audience research in the light of such an understanding challenges widely accepted divisions between those who do research and those who are being researched, as well as between theoretical and empirical work, between qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Finally it is argued that the researcher's perspective on the sociomaterial relations of concern is necessarily situated and limited. Hence, engaging in audience research as social research calls for investigating other practice participants' perspectives on these relations so as to collaborate on tackling problems of shared concern.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunication Review
Volume16
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)81-91
ISSN1071-4421
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2013

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