The MediaMap-research method
- is an exploration of a qualitative media research-method that has developed from my ethnographic field research on the meanings of mobile phones in everyday life in urban Kenya (Nairobi)
- is a semi-structured, interactive combination of both an interview- and a mapping-method
- transcends the mere verbal level of interview-methods by adding a visual and a tactile layer
- aims for developing a holistic and contextualized understanding of media appropriation and media ecologies in their embedding in peoples everyday lives.
The method was presented and discussed at the 32nd Forum on Communication Culture in Cologne (November 20th – 22nd 2015), which was hosted by the Society for Media Pedagogy and Communication Culture (GMK – Gesellschaft für Medienpädagogik und Kommunikationskultur). Having been invited by Prof. Dr. Thomas Knaus (Scientific Director to the Frankfurt Research Center for Media Technology [FTzM]) to participate within his research workshop “Creative methods of researching digital communication cultures”, I had the great opportunity to discuss the “MediaMap”-research method with workshop participants and obtain fruitful feedback that was incorporated into further methodological development of the MediaMap.
A fully developed article on how the MediaMap exactly works as well as its theoretical and methodological framing is available:
Waltinger, Michael (2017): Die MediaMap – Eine explorative Forschungsmethode zur Entwicklung einer kontextualisierten Mediennutzungsperspektive. [The Media Map – An explorative method for researching media usage in context.] In: Knaus, Thomas (ed.): Forschungswerkstatt Medienpädagogik. Projekt – Theorie – Methode. Online Publication [open access, in German].
The article’s abstract can be found below.
If you are interested in the method or have any questions, you are more than welcome to get in touch.
Below are a couple of images of the development of the method, the research-setup as well as some example of MediaMaps as produced by participants in my field research in Nairobi (Kenya):