Rethinking evidence in online social drug use research

Boothroyd, Dave and Lewis, Sarah (2016) Rethinking evidence in online social drug use research. In: Evidence in social drug research and drug policy. Pabst Science, Lengerich, pp. 69-84. ISBN 9783958532632

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The ubiquitous integration of digital communications technologies into everyday life over the past decade or so has led to the extension of drug culture into a multitude of online spaces. This has been paralleled by the growth of internet-based and internet-enabled forms of social drug research. This chapter examines a subset of such recent studies in the field, and shows how methodological approaches developed and deployed, along with the epistemological assumptions adopted in conjunction with them, reflect conventional disciplinary norms. It explains how several ideas and concepts surrounding the notion of the ‘online life’ impact research design and analysis of data in such studies, and explores different ways of thinking about the nature of the data produced in the contexts of digital communicative exchange. The chapter then explores all of these issues in conjunction with questions about the nature of data and its relationship to the notion of ‘evidence’ in the contexts ‘online research’ of the social world. The argument is then illustrated further with reference to the authors’ own study of online drug scenes, undertaken within a multi-part, multi-disciplinary study that is transversal to the field of social drug research as such.

Keywords:Internet, online life, platform space, empirical methods
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
L Social studies > L300 Sociology
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
ID Code:24653
Deposited On:12 Oct 2016 17:53

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