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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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7

Reflexivity in Data Analysis

Constructing Narratives of Family Digital Media Use In, Through, and For Public Engagement

Lynn Schofield Clark

ABSTRACT

Drawing from a large study of digital and mobile media use among US teens and their families, this chapter reflexively traces the way in which a particular research narrative about media use came into being. The narrative in question focuses on a young woman who engaged in extensive and troubling digital and mobile media use. Various stakeholders – university students, research assistants, members of the public, and members of various academic research communities – offered differing and sometimes conflicting interpretations and explanations of this narrative, in effect becoming collaborators in the process of data analysis and in the narrative's reconstruction. The chapter argues that it can be helpful to consider such contradictory responses to potentially polarizing research narratives, since, in an era of reflexive media scholarship, researchers are accountable for the ways in which their writings might contribute critical perspectives to public debate. By reflexive data analysis I mean an act of recognizing that the researcher, as a socialized agent, shapes her analysis in accordance with the creativities and constraints afforded in relation to her place in the social structure. The chapter therefore argues that how a researcher understands the audiences of research narratives contributes to the construction of such narratives, ...

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