Saturday, June 13, 2009

Book release: Action Research and New Media. Concepts, Methods and Cases

Book release: Action Research and New Media. Concepts, Methods and Cases (Hampton Press, 2009) Retail price: $67.50 US

Dr June Lennie (June Lennie Research and Evaluation, Brisbane, Australia)

Authors: Greg Hearn, Jo Tacchi and Marcus Foth (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane) and June Lennie

In this new book, we argue that action research is especially appropriate in new media research, where innovation and change are continual, and where processes and outcomes are usually not predictable and often involve fuzzy and subjective human elements. Our book offers a systematic, in-depth academic overview of the application of action research methods to the field of new media. It is the first publication of its kind in what is a new but rapidly growing field and represents the culmination of many years of work applying action research to new media projects by the authors.

We demonstrate the numerous ways in which new media can be used as an integral, innovative and effective component of action research projects for purposes such as networking and collaboration, and developing creative content. Action research is positioned as a methodology, a meta-process for managing inquiry, and a research culture that can result in ongoing change and improvements to new media initiatives in ways that better meet the diverse needs and goals of organisations, community members and others.

The first section of the book describes the underlying principles, processes, questions, methods, and tools that are relevant to an action research approach to new media inquiry. This is followed by a deeper explanation of three advanced, innovative approaches to action research and new media: ethnographic, network, and anticipatory action research. The final section presents four case studies of the application of action research in different new media contexts:

Alleviating Poverty through ICTs in South and Southeast Asia
Creative Engagement through Local Content Creation
A Community Portal for Residents in an Inner-City Development
Evaluating New Media in Rural and Outback Areas.
Throughout this book we show how action research can overcome many of the problems inherent in using traditional methodologies for media and communication research by producing continuous learning, insight and actionable knowledge.

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