1st Edition

Qualitative Research Using Social Media

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 29, 2022
ISBN 9780367333478
March 29, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
272 Pages 73 B/W Illustrations

USD $49.95

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Book Description

Do you want to study influencers? Opinions and comments on a collection of posts? Look at collections of photos or videos on Instagram? Qualitative Research Using Social Media guides the reader in what different kinds of qualitative research can be applied to social media data. It introduces students, as well as those who are new to the field, to developing and carrying out concrete research projects. The book takes the reader through the stages of choosing data, formulating a research question, and choosing and applying method(s).

Written in a clear and accessible manner with current social media examples throughout, the book provides a step-by-step overview of a range of qualitative methods. These are presented in clear ways to show how to analyze many different types of social media content, including language and visual content such as memes, gifs, photographs and film clips. Methods examined include critical discourse analysis, content analysis, multimodal analysis, ethnography and focus groups. Most importantly, the chapters and examples show how to ask the kinds of questions that are relevant for us at this present point in our societies, where social media is highly integrated into how we live. Social media is used for political communication, social activism, as well as commercial activities and mundane everyday things, and it can transform how all these are accomplished and even what they mean.

Drawing on examples from Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, Reddit, Weibo and others, this book will be suitable for undergraduate students studying social media research courses in media and communications, as well as other humanities such as linguistics and social science based degrees.

Table of Contents

About the authors

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Qualitative Content Analysis – text and speech-based material

Chapter 3: Qualitative Visual Content Analysis

Chapter 4: Analyzing social media language with critical discourse analysis

Chapter 5: Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis

Chapter 6: Multimodal Narrative Analysis of Video Clips

Chapter 7: Online Ethnography

Chapter 8: Focus Group Interviews

Chapter 9: Conclusion



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Gwen Bouvier is a Professor at Zhejiang University, China. Her main research interest is digital communication, specifically civic debate and activism on social media. Professor Bouvier's publications have drawn on critical discourse analysis, multimodality based on social semiotics, and online ethnography. She is the Associate Editor for the journal Social Semiotics.

Joel Rasmussen is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences at Örebro University, Sweden. His research focuses on how communication processes shape responsibilities and measures regarding risk and health in organizations and society. He is interested in how public sector institutions refashioning identity through social media. His work is published in international journals such as Human Relations, Discourse & Communication, Safety Science, PLoS ONE, and others.


''...an indispensable guide for those who want to learn about, and practically undertake, qualitative social media research of popular platforms.'' —Professor Per Ledin, Södertörn University and author of Doing Visual Analysis, From Theory to Practice

"Bouvier and Rasmussen provide an informative, clearly written and indispensable guide for readers investigating social media data or contemplating doing so. A welcome handbook for all research methods courses that seek to remain informed and up to date" —Paul Cobley, Professor in Language and Media, Middlesex University