[Air-L] Crowdsourcing the latest social media research

Finlayson, Amalie afinlayson at csu.edu.au
Mon Jul 18 16:01:28 PDT 2011

Dear Air-L members

I am just beginning a new research project looking at social media and the academy, and am hoping to crowdsource some of the latest journal papers/books/articles in this area in order to put together a current literature review.

Below is the brief title abstract of the research proposal for the project. I am conducting my own searches of course too, but any leads or recommendations anyone could pass on would be most heartily appreciated!

Conceptualising social media for theory and practice: The role of the academy in formulating contemporary media and communication social media curricula

Social media is aligned with exponential technological growth (Wayt Gibbs, 1997) in communication technology, and is subject to such swift and unpredictable change, that there is currently a limited understanding of what the term ‘social media’ actually means (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Academic discourse around the theory and practice of social media, and specifically understanding how ‘social media’ is conceptualised, researched and taught within the academy, is also somewhat restricted.

My research project intends to examine how the academy conceptualises and teaches social media in order to “train students to go out into the world with both general and specific skills [and] work with contemporary problems and render appropriate the discoveries and understanding that they generate” (Boulton & Lucas, 2008, p. 4). The study will focus on a delimited area, namely how Australian universities are currently conceptualising social media and utilising it as part of pedagogical best practice within media and communication schools.

The first step in this research study, following on from my earlier research in the field, would involve an updated comprehensive literature review in this area in order to maintain theoretical currency in this rapidly developing field. The study would then extend to a triangulated methodological approach within the qualitative research paradigm, providing an analysis of a sample of current social media university subject syllabi offered in Australia. Semi-structured interviews with academics would serve to help understand how their theoretical underpinnings for social media inform the pedagogical models for this knowledge area.

Boulton, G., & Lucas, C. (2008). What are universities for? : League of European Research Universities.
Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, 53(1), 59-68.
Wayt Gibbs, W. (1997). Gordon E Moore, Part 2. The Scientific American.


Dr Amalie Finlayson
Lecturer in Journalism
School of Communication & Creative Industries
Charles Sturt University
Panorama Avenue, Bathurst NSW 2795
P: 02 6338 4446
E: afinlayson at csu.edu.au
Charles Sturt University


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