Methodological challenges in research on media, citizenship and ethnic diversity

Dhoest, A., Marta Cola, Manuel Mauri Brusa, Dafna Lemish, José Carlos Sendin, Ragne Kouts (2011). Methodological challenges in research on media, citizenship and ethnic diversity. Zagreb conference: "New challenges and methodological innovations in European media audience research". 7-9 April 2011.

Abstract: This panel presents research about minority media use and diversity, focusing on its methodological aspects and problems. What are particular difficulties related the research on minority groups? How to grasp the increasing (ethnic and cultural) diversity of ‘national’ audiences? How to study transnational or diasporic audiences? In this changing social context, what changes do we need in research on traditional media (such as television), and what are the new challenges in research on digital, social and interactive media such as Web 2.0? How to study ethnicity and other sources of minority identification, without essentialising them as given and fixed? How to take into account the complexity and hybridity of contemporary social categorizations and identifications? In short: how to think and study diversity? In this panel, researchers from different national contexts discuss their research on ethnically diverse audiences of different media. They present some of their findings, reflecting in particular on the quantitative and qualitative methods they used, on the definition and operationalisation of categories like 'ethnicity’ and 'minority', on the diversity and inclusivity of their samples, and on the variables, labels and categories they used for the analysis and presentation of research findings. By revisiting their research, reflecting on methodological choices, problems and assumptions, the panelists hope to stimulate and contribute to the debate about taken for granted as well as innovative methods to study diverse societies, aiming for inclusivity and social integration.