Do you want to study influencers? Opinions and comments on a set 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.