Social Media and/as Urban Research: A Workshop for Beginners

When: 30 March 2021, 14:00 — 17:00
Venue: Online

Book your place now [booked up]

Event description

Registration Deadline: 12 March 2021, 5pm GMT (UK Time)


Are you an urban researcher interested in using or focusing on social media in your project? Are you curious about some of the conceptual and methodological issues at stake? Social Media and/as Urban Research is a short workshop providing an introduction to conceptualising and approaching social media as part of urban research.

Urban life today leaves numerous traces on various social media platforms, and these platforms are reshaping how we experience, communicate across and represent cities. Particularly after a long period of social distancing, many urban researchers have become more aware of social media, both as an alternative way to do urban research at-a-distance, but also as an emergent topic of urban research in its own right.

This workshop is aimed at urban researchers at all levels, from the doctoral/ECR stage to professorial, who are at an early- or beginner-stage of interest and/or experience in social media as it relates to urban research. This interest may be in social media as either an instrument to research urban settings (e.g. to get background on a neighbourhood or topic, or recruit research participants) or as an object of urban research (e.g. an interest in the implications of social media practices or technologies for urban life) (cf. Zeller, 2017).

Focusing on ‘small data’ qualitative urban research projects, you will draw on your own provisional ideas and experiences with fellow participants and begin to unpack the nature and accessibility of social data. We will also address the sometimes-ambiguous ethical issues related to researching human participants through social media, and glimpse how larger-scale data analytics can play a role in qualitative research projects.

Before the event, participants will be sent a programme, required readings and a Microsoft Teams meeting link.


  • Andrea Ballatore (Lecturer in Geographic Data Science, Dept. of Geography)
  • Scott Rodgers (Senior Lecturer in Media Theory, Dept. of Film, Media and Cultural Studies)
  • Sara Rodriguez (PhD student, Dept. of Geography)