Research is a pretty broad term, that everyone will be aware of, and will probably be able to define pretty easily. Their definitions however, are sure to be widely different depending on their studies. At University, we do what’s called ‘Scholarly Research’, and this means to research a topic systematically and objectively. We have the research the ‘real world’ rather than the personal, so our findings have to be proven by facts and studies rather than assumptions and guesses. Usually scholarly research is peer-reveiwed as well, so the papers and documents you would research would be published in a journal related to its field.
Communications and Media however is a very broad subject, so the research we conduct is not always scholarly. Some research can be drawn from social events, past or present, as well as philosophical and psychological papers as philosophy plays a big part in media research.
Berger defines scholarly research as a “more systematic, more objective, more careful, and more concerned about the correctness and truthfulness than everyday research,” (Berger 2014). There are procedural researching methods that you follow when conducting scholarly research, and after the initial research and analysis, you would gather more data. There are two types of research, Qualitative and Quantitive. Qualitative research refers to an individuals judgement, or their beliefs and interpretations of a situation, while Quantitive research is focused purely on statistical and mathematical facts.
In terms of media research, I believe a mixture of the two are important when conducting scholarly research, because no statement or research is truely valid without statistical evidence to prove a media theory. On the other hand however, some theory’s work best regarding peoples interpretations and feelings towards certain issues. So taking into account that the media is a tool for everyone to enjoy and use, we have to accept that certain demographics will view certain issues with a different perspective, and we can use Qualitative research to prove so.
This semester we’re asked to conduct our own research, and i’ve teamed up to research about the differences between someones online persona and their ‘real-life’ persona. To do this we’re researching past papers about the issues, and drawing from already conducted research. We hope to find some results regarding how people want to promote themselves and their lifestyle, and how this kind of conduct could link into depression. It’s also interesting to notice that while we’re researching why people lie about their lives online, it’s not popular to tell hard truths online.
Berger, Arthur A. 2014, ‘What is research?’ in media and communication research methods: an introduction to qualitative and quantitative approaches, 3rd ed., SAGE, Los Angeles, pp. 13-32