Friday, 22 September 2017

Call for speakers: Answering social science questions with social media data

Thursday 8th March 2018, The Wellcome Collection, London, NW1 2BE

After several successful events, we’re pleased to say that the NSMNSS network ( and Social Research Association ( are again teaming up to deliver a one-day conference on ‘Answering social science questions with social media data’.

As social media research matures as a discipline, and methodological and ethical concerns are being addressed, focus is increasingly shifting on to the role that it can and should play in the social sciences – what are the questions it can help us to answer?

We are looking for speakers who have completed a piece of social research using social media data to present their findings and discuss how this has made a difference:
  • ·    How has it impacted policy, best practice, or understanding?
  • ·    How has it answered a question that would have been unfeasible using conventional research methods alone?
This research could be in any substantive area, from health or crime to politics or travel, as long as it is ‘social’ research. It can also include any type of analysis – quantitative or qualitative analysis, big data or small – as long as it involves some form of data collection via a social media platform. We want to encourage a range of different methods and topics to help demonstrate the diversity of the methodology and the role it can play.

Are you interested in presenting?
If you have completed a piece of research using social media research methods, or have any suggestions of who we should contact, then please complete the submissions template and send to by Monday 27th November. Let us know the name and topic of the research study, which social media platform was used, a brief description of methodology, and the findings and impact of this study.

This event is being set up by the SRA and NSMNSS network. We want to keep the event accessible and ticket prices reasonable, but need to cover the costs of the venue hire/refreshments, so we cannot pay presenters – however there will be 1 free place per presentation, and we will be able to cover reasonable ‘within UK’ public transport travel expenses.

The #NSMNSS & SRA teams

Friday, 15 September 2017

Westminster Student Blog Series

We will be posting a series of short vlogs, produced by University of Westminster Postgraduate students. They are all based on their research of social media. We will be posting one a week for the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled!

Digital Review: Public Sphere and the Exclusion of Women

Author: Karolina Kramplova

The creation of new forms of digital social media during the first decade of the 21st century has completely changed the way in which many people communicate and share information. When we think about social media as a space where the public can discuss current affairs and politics, it is interesting to consider it with the theory of public sphere. Ever since Habermas established this concept, it was criticised by scholars like Nancy Fraser. She argues that the theory was established based on a number of exclusions and discriminations. I focused on the exclusion of women from the political life. Andy Ruddock, an author of the book, Youth and Media, also talks about the lack of representation of women in subculture studies and how social media is not about democratisation and public debate but rather about people picking what they like. An activist, Hannah Knight, acknowledges the discrimination women face until this day. However, when it comes to public sphere and social media, even though Knight argues there is a space for public debates, she says people are not listening to everyone. Social media empowers movements such as the Women’s March, but does it contribute towards democratisation, or do we just want to believe it does? Therefore, both the scholar, Ruddock and the activist Knight, have persuaded me that the concept of public sphere is no longer relevant when it comes to social media.