Presenting my research at the Ways of Being in a Digital Age – A Review Conference (University of Liverpool)

October 9, 2017

 

On 10th October, I will be presenting some of my research and literature review findings titled "Digital culture co-creation: capturing the social impact of small-scale community projects" at the Ways of Being in a Digital Age – A Review Conference.

 

"The aim of the  conference is to close the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) review of “Ways of being in a digital age”.  As stated on the project's website "the project was commissioned by the ESRC to help prioritise future areas and identify methods for research on the social, economic, political, psychological and cultural impacts of digital media and technologies." (source: “Ways of being in a digital age”)

 

 

"Digital culture co-creation: capturing the social impact of small-scale community projects"

 

In my presentation, I will be covering an area of my literature review, and the research gap that I have identified over the last year. Although the key focus of my doctoral study is dedicated to youth digital users, during the last 16 months, I came across some interesting issues with regards to other age groups and their active involvement in digital culture co-creation. Below you can read my abstract for the presentation:

 

Title: Digital culture co-creation: capturing the social impact of small-scale community projects.

 

The applications of mediated, participatory approaches to cultural formation have been recognised as important contributions to the field of community education. Co-creative digital culture projects provide communities with a collaborative infrastructure to explore and share their ideas and beliefs (Russo &Watkins, 2005). While co-creative experiences have been defined as empowering (Cornish & Dunn, 2009; Füller et al., 2009), innovative (Nambisan & Nambisan, 2013; Mühlbacher et al. 2009) and engaging (Chowdhury, 2012; Matzler & Jawecki, 2009), both positive (Deuze, 2006; Russo & Watkins, 2005) and negative (Hand, 2016) impacts of participation in digital culture, can be found in the literature.

 

Despite extensive research on the societal impacts of digital culture (for example Buckingham, 2013; Deuze, 2006; Miller, 2011), the outcomes of cultural co-creative processes have been described as unpredictable and ‘challenging to measure’ (RICHES, 2015). The use of traditional evaluation approaches has been critiqued for primarily “pre-empting the outcomes” (Lockie, 2001, p.281) and addressing funding criteria (Adams & Garbutt, 2008). Therefore, it has been argued that new tools should be developed in order to understand the impact of small-scale participatory digital projects which are “process oriented and creative in nature” (RICHES, p.6)

 

The aim of this paper is to review current understandings of the social impact of digital culture co-creation. The analysis presented here has been gathered from secondary sources, as a part of a doctoral research project’s literature review, which includes the current scholarly debates on digital culture, co-creation, and social impact evaluation.  This paper identifies a research gap in this area and aims to contribute to the ongoing scholarly discussion regarding the measurement of the value of digital culture. Emphasising small-scale community projects, it proposes that a more holistic and participatory approach to evaluation could enrich the current practice and understanding of the social impact of digital culture co-creation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dr Alicja Pawluczuk

Digital Media Practitioner and Researcher with extensive experience of participatory media project design and facilitation both in Europe and South East Asia. Founder of digital storytelling educational collective www.digitalbeez.org. Associate Lecturer & PhD student at Edinburgh Napier University. Interested in Digital Youth Work/Literacy and Experiential Teaching Practice, ICT4D, Digital Inclusion, and Digital Activism. An active member of the Digital Youth Workers Network in Scotland. 

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