3 March 2016
“Using an app to discover city diversity
12:30pm - 13:45pm
Speaker(s): Dr Christopher Douce
Cities are extraordinary places; extraordinary in their scale, diversity and the cultures they contain. From an anthropological perspective, a city can represent an extraordinary challenge and an extraordinary opportunity. An interesting question is: how might you start to engage with one of many cultures that exist within a city, such as London? This seminar is about a personal research project that uses digital technologies to guide the sampling of different cultures, or groups, over a period of just over a year. One hundred groups hosted using through an app called Meetup are visited. The groups are chosen randomly using a set of simple rules. The result is a unique perspective of a slice of London, gained through the lens of a smartphone app. The narrative of one hundred ‘internet facilitated events’ is presented alongside other more challenging depictions of digital and internet culture. It was interesting to discover a wide range of technology communities and the unexpected vibrancy of many of the groups. The future direction of the research is unclear, but initial ideas include potential collaborations with anthropologists and researchers working in the sphere of digital culture.
Chris Douce is a Staff Tutor/Lecturer in the Open University in London. He studied Computer Science at Salford University and went on to study the Psychology of Programming at the University of Manchester. He joined the OU in 2006 as a part time associate lecturer, tutoring on M364 Fundamentals of Interaction Design and then H810 Accessible online learning: supporting disabled students. He became a Research Fellow in IET two years later, where he supported a number of EU funded projects, later becoming a Staff Tutor in the London region, where he supports a number of modules, including TU100, TM129, TT284, T320, T216 as well as T324 and T325. He regularly facilitates AL development events at AL development conferences. His research interests include: pedagogy of computer programming, the pedagogy of tools used for distance learning, and the application and use of social media.
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