Skype as cultural archive

My research partner and I use Skype to keep in touch as we live on either side of the U.S. / Canada border. Plus, as graduate students we find ourselves most often in front of our computers with little time for face to face meetings.

Over the past two years, we have clocked hours of Skype calls and lengthy instant messaging scripts. Within these archives we discuss our research, managing grad school, film and televisions shows we watch, and how we negotiate our different cultural/social/national backgrounds in the context of academia.

Recently, we decided to collect the past six months of text scripts archive from August 2010 – January 2011 amounting to over 660 pages. We plan to conduct a study of how we use Skype to negotiate grad school and academia from our different perspectives. Reviewing 660 pages of dialogue ought to pose an interesting challenge. Discourse content analysis anyone?

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About Debbie James

James is Assistant Professor Media Studies at Governors State University. She write on new media and television, especially television. A Canadian, she has lived in the US since 2011. View all posts by Debbie James

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