In this century, we are witnessing a startling transformation in the way cultural knowledge is produced and how meaning is negotiated. The digital era does not mark the beginning of this sort of activity, by any means, yet it has facilitated a remarkable acceleration toward de-privileging expert knowledge, decentralizing culture production, and unhooking cultural units of information from their origins. One way to think about this shift is through the lens of remix.
Remix is a flexible concept that focuses on the process and product of taking bits of cultural material and, through the process of copy/paste and collage, producing new meaning to share with others. While traditionally associated with hip hop music forms, it more recently highlights the way we make sense of the complexity of our everyday social worlds. In this talk, Dr Markham discusses how it can be used as a way of thinking about research methods. Remix offers a powerful means of shifting analytical gaze from individuals and objects to relations, processes, and flows between various elements of situations, where meaning and assemblages and imaginaries are negotiated in relation and situated (inter)action.
Remix practices can allow the researcher to embrace and grapple with complexity (rather than trying to simplify) by focusing less on methods (as templates to either apply to experiences and organize these experiences into particular categories and structures) and more on meaning as derived from a creative process of inquiry. This stance also facilitates a shift in thinking about the goals and products of research activity. Remix can help the researcher explore how to build creative and compelling arguments that enter larger conversations, both inside and outside the Academy.
This event is part of Oxford Digital Ethnography Group, an interdisciplinary collaboration between the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography (SAME) and the Oxford Internet Institute (OII).
About the speakers
Annette Markham is Associate Professor of Information & Media Studies at Aarhus University and Guest Professor at Umeå University’s Department of Informatics. Trained as a communication scholar in the United States, her research focuses on sensemaking and identity formation in internet-mediated contexts and more recently, ethical and innovative methodologies for studying digitally-saturated social contexts. Her sociological work related to digital identity is well represented in her book Life Online: Researching real experience in virtual space (Altamira 1998). Other publications include Internet Inquiry (2009, with Nancy Baym) and a range of articles and chapters in edited volumes, handbooks, and scholarly journals. Dr Markham has a strong background and training in interpretive, qualitative, and ethnographic methods.