Professor Andra Siibak (Andra.Siibak [ät] ut.ee)
Datafication of Childhood
Children’s and young people's online experiences, based on quantitative data from the EU Kids Online project (together with professor Veronika Kalmus)
Professor Veronika Kalmus (Veronika.Kalmus [ät] ut.ee)
Changes in the environment of socialization in the context of social transformations
Children’s and young people's online experiences, based on quantitative data from the EU Kids Online project (together with professor Andra Siibak)
Associate Professor Ragne Kõuts-Klemm (Ragne.Kouts [ät] ut.ee)
The topic focuses on media users who have different dispositions in the informational disorder and relations to the growing complexity of societies. On the one hand, the question is how the users handle the “toxic” parts of the information field. The strategies used by users can express high agency: e.g. changes in their media use practices, creation of civic channels for fact-checking, self-made media content for balancing the information environment, etc. On the other hand, the stand-by and removal strategies can be used: avoidance of news content, media diet based on the opinionated media, or receding into the echo-chambers of the social media. Additionally, the analysis of the informational disorder from the perspective of agents takes into account the individual agents and interest groups who participate in the strengthening of the “toxic” information field via producing or disseminating false information consciously.
The exact focus of the topic will be agreed with the supervisor.
Methods for researching the topic: interviews, observation supported by the experiment, network analysis, textual analysis.
As the theoretical basis serve the theories of agency, audience studies and approaches dealing with social complexity.
The participation in the international research projects will be expected (ERC project by F. Toepfl The Consequences of the Internet for Russia’s Informational Influence Abroad, starting from 1st of September 2019; Norface project by I. Picone Dealing with Toxic News: everyday strategies to navigate disinformation-driven news environments).
The research focuses on the datafied society – ever growing amount of data on different life spheres that will be used as a basis for interpreting the reality and for decision-making about the processes and regulations we all live in. The numerical data has high authority in modern societies, the statistical and research data will be seen as legitimate basis for evidence-based decision-making. Critical attitude towards data is rather weak or missing entirely, even among journalists who are usually sceptical towards information. Journalists publish pre-given data and their interpretations that can support particular interests in the society. The interpretations of reality created with the help of data gets special interest in the research project. Lesser known is the reception of this kind of information among audiences. The planned research will combine both sides using the following questions: what numerical data and in what context is being used in the mainstream mass media? Are some interpretations of reality given more attention than other interpretations? On what level of data literacy do the journalists work who produce interpretations of reality in particular ways? What is characteristic of the practices of reception among audiences in dealing with numerical content?
Methods for researching the topic: reception analysis, testing of data literacy, textual analysis, interviews, think-aloud observations.
Associate Professor Kairi Kasearu (Kairi.Kasearu [ät] ut.ee)
Associate Professor Judit Strömpl (Judit.Strömpl [ät] ut.ee)
Senior research fellow Mare Ainsaar (Mare.Ainsaar [ät] ut.ee)
Lecturer Tarmo Strenze (Tarmo.Strenze [ät] ut.ee)