Why map issues? On controversy analysis as a digital method

Speaker: Dr Noortje Marres # Goldsmiths, University of London

26th Jan 2015

15:30 - 17:00

Room 1.06, Old Surgeons' Hall, High School Yards


This talk  takes stock of recent efforts to implement controversy analysis as a digital method, in science and technology studies (STS) and beyond, and outlines a distinctive approach to addressing a key challenge: the problem of digital bias. Digital settings like the Web exert significant influence on the enactment of controversy, and this risks to undermine the substantive focus of controversy analysis conducted by digital means. To address this problem, I propose a shift in thematic focus from controversy analysis to issue mapping. I argue that we must broaden the scope of digital controversy analysis and examine not just controversies, but a broader range of issue formations, including public relations campaigning and activist mobilizations. I explore the practical implementation of this approach through a discussion of a case study, in which we analyzed issues of Internet governance with the social media platform Twitter.

Speaker's biography