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Title: Wild interdisciplinarity: Ethnography and computer science
Authors: Goulden, Murray
Greiffenhagen, Christian
Crowcroft, Jon
McAuley, Derek
Mortier, Richard
Radenkovic, Milena
Sathiaseelan, Arjuna
Keywords: Digital sociology
Computer science
In the wild
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Taylor & Francis / © The Authors
Citation: GOULDEN, M. ...et al., 2017. Wild Interdisciplinarity: Ethnography and Computer Science. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 20 (2) pp.137-150.
Abstract: Drawing on the experiences of a novel collaborative project between sociologists and computer scientists, this paper identifies a set of challenges for fieldwork that are generated by this wild interdisciplinarity. Public Access Wi-Fi Service (PAWS) was a project funded by an 'in-the-wild' research programme, involving the study of digital technologies within a marginalised community, with the goal of addressing digital exclusion. We argue that similar forms of research, in which social scientists are involved in the deployment of experimental technologies within real world settings, are becoming increasingly prevalent. The fieldwork for the project was highly problematic, with the result that few users of the system were successfully enrolled. We analyse why this was the case, identifying three sets of issues which emerge in the juxtaposition of interdisciplinary collaboration and wild setting. We conclude with a set of recommendations for projects involving technologists and social scientists.
Description: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Version: Published
DOI: 10.1080/13645579.2016.1152022
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/20484
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2016.1152022
ISSN: 1364-5579
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies)

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