Research Projects

These are the projects backed by NEMO:

  • The Dream of Enlightenment within Reach?  Howard Nothhaft, Campus Helsingborg
  • Communication Practices of Social Media Communities Mia Larson, Campus Helsingborg, and Szilvia Gyimóthy, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • BIKT: Social interaction in organizing processes – the effects of new media  Agneta Planander, Campus Helsingborg, Kristina Palm, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
  • Adjudication as Democratic Practice: Discourses on Court Decisions in a New Media Landscape Marja Åkerström, Campus Helsingborg and Matthias Baier, Lund University
  • Swarming for Democracy – A New Culture in Political Communication Howard Nothhaft, Campus Helsingborg and Hagen Schölzel
  • H@bermas 2.0: The Ecology of the User-Generated Public Sphere Howard Nothhaft, Campus Helsingborg
  • Co-Creation in Visual New Media: Examining the experiences, conditions, and consequences Åsa Thelander,  Cecilia Cassinger, both Campus Helsingborg
  • Role of communications Professionals in Digital Age  Henrik Merkelsen,  Veselinka Möllerström and Sara von Platen, all Campus Helsingborg
  • An Awkward Tool: Social Media and Intra-Party Competition Nils Gustafsson, Campus Helsingborg
  • What Digital Naturals Demand from Democracy  Marja Åkerström, Philip Young, Campus Helsingborg
  • The Gamification of Democracy:  On the democratic socialization of ‘digital naturals’ by the procedural rhetoric of computer games  Howard Nothhaft, Marja Åkerström, Philip Young (all Campus Helsingborg) and Jens Sieffert (University of Liepzig)

 

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The Dream of Enlightenment within Reach?

Howard Nothhaft, Campus Helsingborg

Presented to 5 Oct 12 NEMO Conference: NEMO Nothhaft Democracy (Download pdf)

Communication Practices of Social Media Communities

Mia Larson, Associate Professor, Campus Helsingborg, and Szilvia Gyimóthy, Associate Professor,  Aalborg University, Denmark

Festival consumers are typical examples of tribal gatherings where sense of community is as important as the featured artists themselves. However such tribal enactments have been so far concentrated within the temporal confinements of the event. Social media offer new marketing opportunities to cater for the existential needs of a tribe, by enabling the production and negotiation of collective identities, practices and rituals on virtual platforms throughout a year.

The purpose of this study is to understand tribal communication on social media in a festival context and analyze how (if at all) service providers contribute to the value creation and maintenance of social media communities. As new media can be seen as a way for citizens to make their voice heard and/or further their causes on issues relating to the festival and its effects, democratic processes related to festival production are also in focus.

The study will focus on social media communication practices at two festivals: the city festival Helsingborgsfestivalen and the rock festival Roskilde. Thus, two comparative case studies will be performed.

DOWNLOAD: UnBlackBoxing the Orange Feeling

BIKT: Social interaction in organizing processes – the effects of new media

Agneta Planander, Campus Heslingborg and Kristina Palm, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

In what ways does new media change the way people communicate and interact inside organizations and what effects has it on organizational processes? New media has a considerable impact on organizational everyday life and working situations, but deeper reflections and discussions on these consequences are seldom found neither in practice nor in theory. This project  (pre-study) explores what impact new media has on the way people communicate and interact in organizations,  and how the implementation of new media evolves in organizations. Aspects on criteria for use, effects on relations, norms, roles, conflict/consensus transparency, participation, stress, control, leadership etc, are discussed in depth interviews with six managers in various knowledge based companies (newspaper, medical research, telecom research, manufacturing, book store, airline).

Adjudication as Democratic Practice: Discourses on Court Decisions in a New Media Landscape 

Marja Åkerström, Campus Helsingborg and Matthias Baier, Lund University

Swarming for Democracy – A New Culture in Political Communication?

Hagen Schölzel, PhD, hagen.scholzel@isk.lu.se & Howard Nothhaft, PhD, howard.nothhaft@isk.lu.se

Our project is both, a case study on a prominent communicative conflict and a theoretical reflection on communication as a swarming phenomenon. We are analyzing the process leading to the former German defence minister Guttenberg’s demission on March 01, 2011.

An intense communicative conflict took place during the two weeks preceding this event: An internet-based swarm of several thousand activists engaged in a painstakingly detailed search for plagiarized passages in Guttenberg’s PhD-dissertation. The Wiki they used as an organizational platform and for documentary reasons immediately became a central ‘actor’ in this conflict. It served as a central source of information for journalists as well as for many citizens – with about 10,000,000 page hits in these two weeks. Arguably, it was this detailed documentation of malpractice, open to all, that finally forced the minister to resign.

The importance of this project lies in its significance for a general development in modern democracy: Conflicts between internet-based swarms and traditional politics seem to announce a new culture in political communication, which challenges recent understandings of politics as well as recent understandings of communication.

Web source: Reflections on a Swarm by two activists of the ‘Guttenplag Wiki’ about their internet-based investigation platform: http://de.guttenplag.wikia.com/wiki/Reflections_on_a_Swarm

H@bermas 2.0: The Ecology of the User-Generated Public Sphere

Howard Nothhaft, PhD, howard.nothhaft@isk.lu.se

On the last page of his three-volume masterpiece Information Age, Manuel Castells arrived at a fairly optimistic conclusion. On the eve of the 20th century Castells contended that human society might well stand on the doorstep of a bright future: ‘The dream of Enlightenment, that reason and science would solve the problems of humankind,’ Castells writes, ‘is within reach.’ Far from being naively utopian, however, Castells made it clear, that he considers the door closed at present, even blocked. ‘Our economy, society and culture’, Castells argued, ‘are built on interests, values, institutions and systems of representation that, by and large, limit collective creativity, confiscate the harvest of information technology, and deviate our energy into self-destructive confrontation.’

The aim of this project, which comes in two parts, is to explore what consequences the emergence of New Media had, has and could have for ‘modern’ democracies and community engagement. The issue under scrutiny is whether ‘electronic democracy’, ‘internet democracy’, ‘digital democracy’, ‘social media democracy’, ‘user-generated democracy’ and so on, could turn out to be the very ‘institutions and systems of representation’ Castells had in mind.

Co-Creation in Visual New Media: Examining the experiences, conditions, and consequences

Åsa Thelander and Cecilia Cassinger, both Campus Helsingborg

Visual new media has enabled images to be created, shared, reproduced, and disseminated at a higher speed than previously. Lay people can produce, spread and share images to an extent that the traditional pattern where professionals produce images to be used can be questioned. Visual new media is increasingly employed in place branding with the aim of widening participation in community life and involve citizens in the co-creation of innovative images of countries, regions and cities. The aim of this research project is to explore how co-creation, relying on the valorisation of consumers’ production of cultural (and in particular visual) content, shapes a place and what the implications for citizen participation in community life may be. The research questions we raise concern 1) users’ experiences of participating in the co-creation of a place brand; 2) the conditions of co-creation on new visual media platforms; 3) the nature of the co-created images 4) implications of co-creation for participatory citizenship.

Visual co-creation in new media is investigated through the case of the city Landskrona’s Instagram campaign. Every week a different citizen takes over Landskrona’s official Instagram account and portrays the city through his or her viewpoint. The city seems to be among the first in Sweden to have embraced the strategy for place branding and one can expect other cities to emulate the strategy. Hence, the city is an example of a case in the forefront where knowledge can be expected to be interesting for others.

Role of communications Professionals in Digital Age

Henrik Merkelsen,  Veselinka Möllerström and Sara von Platen, all Campus Helsingborg

This project take its starting point in how new media has changed the conditions for practicing strategic communication and thus how the role of communication professionals has changed. More specifically the project will employ an engaged scholarship approach to developing and advancing theory in a dialogue with Swedish and Danish communication professionals using qualitative and quantitative approaches (from discourse analysis to structural equation modelling).

An Awkward Tool: Social Media and Intra-Party Competition

Nils Gustafsson, Campus Helsingborg

Current research claims that new media have changed the way political communication works and how political organisations work (Chadwick 2013, Bennett and Segerberg 2013, Gustafsson 2012) and I am studying the way social network sites change norms of communication in the Swedish Parliament, since the effects of new media on internal processes of political parties are largely uncharted area. This is done by interviewing members of parliament and content analysis of their social media profiles.

What Digital Naturals Demand from Democracy

Marja Åkerström, Philip Young, Campus Helsingborg

Drawing on focus group studies with engaged students, this study explores ways in which digital naturals are creating a new discourse that rejects conventional politics, favouring issues-based interactions (which are sometimes surprisingly conservative).

The Gamification of Democracy:  On the democratic socialization of ‘digital naturals’ by the procedural rhetoric of computer games

Howard Nothhaft, Marja Åkerström, Philip Young (all Campus Helsingborg) and Jens Sieffert (University of Liepzig)

Builds on Digital Naturals research that suggests a growing tendency for this group to engage with democracy in the same way they would with computer strategy games. Includes interviews with game writers, which reveal their conceptions of democracy and investigates how this feeds into the gaming process and then a wider political discourse.

COMMENTS

  1. Pingback: Festivals, fans and social media | NEMO Helsingborg

  2. November 5, 2012 | 3:08 pm | Szilvia Gyimóthy & Mia Larson

    How do festivals involve their fan community in their social media communications? Our research findings show that festival managers are moving beyond unidirectional information updates or functional market research queries. Instead, there is a tendency to tap into the heartbeat of the fan community by endorsing relevant currents of popular culture.

    There is an indication of at least three different strategies adopted by festivals. These entail insourcing customers as volunteer festival ambassadors, co-innovation of new experience design and consolidating the virtual community throughout the year. As such, Storsjöyran relaunches its mascot, the President of Jamtland (this year as an Avengers Superhero: http://www.facebook.com/#!/storsjoyran?fref=ts), while Roskilde Festival constantly prompts fans for images and narratives to embody the unique “Orange Feeling”: http://liveproject.me/event/roskilde/

    These practices have important implications regarding democracy. What are the pros and cons of delegating such tasks to the fan community? How are fan voices steered, manipulated, enhanced and/or restricted by the management? These issues are addressed by our project within NEMO, Communication Practices of Social Media Communities.

  3. Pingback: Swarming for Democracy – A New Culture in Political Communication? | NEMO Helsingborg

  4. Pingback: Thanks for a great NEMO conference! | NEMO Helsingborg

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