HashtagResearch: Using Social Media in Data Collection and Dissemination

Event Date: 
Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Event Location: 
ATAC 5036
About the Event
This panel features researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds who are using social media in different ways in their research, whether in data collection, dissemination, or both. The panel will touch on the benefits and challenges of using social media as a research tool, as well as ethical considerations.



Christine Wekerle, Paediatrics, McMaster University
Dr. Christine WekerleBio: Dr. Christine Wekerle is an Associate Professor, Paediatrics, and Associate Member, Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.  She is Editor-in-Chief of the premier international journal, Child Abuse & Neglect, and founding editor of the open access journal, International Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience (www.in-car.ca). Her new book with colleagues, Child Maltreatment (2nd Edition), is targeted to those whose practice engages them in the issues of child maltreatment. Her research focuses on youth who have had adverse childhood experiences and their current mental health and resilience.  The Maltreatment and Adolescent Pathways (MAP) Research Study partnered with Canada's largest child welfare agencies to track youth outcomes across adolescents, and the research-to-action video was runner up in the CIHR IHDCYH Video Talks competition. Her current team grant focuses on the impact of sexual violence victimization among male youth and young adults, seeking to understand components of resilience and developing intervention innovations.  The #CIHRTeamSV research-to-action video won a special commendation prize in the CIHR Video Talks contest for 2107. These open access resources are available on the ResilienceInYouth YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. Dr. Wekerle and team have developed a ResilienceInYouth App to support day-to-day resilient functioning. She can be reached via email (wekerc@mcmaster.ca) and on Twitter @DrWekerle.   
Topic: Dr. Wekerle will be talking about trauma and technology, reviewing social media strategies for communication about the sensitive message of sexual violence. She has conducted an Instagram experiment targeting a youth audience, and a Twitter experiment engaging agencies, governmental and NGOs, and those connected to the research community. She will discuss our development of technology - a resilience in youth app - to support youth in transitions where there is normatively higher anxiety, higher risks for sexual violence, and a need for healthy emotion regulation and, with that, better cognitive focusing. She will discuss the benefits and risks of youth social media use, and best practises for social media users, parents and clinicians.


Dr. Will Zhao, Lakehead Faculty of Business

Dr. Will ZhaoBio: Dr. Will Zhao is assistant professor in Management at the Faculty of Business Administration. Before moving to Northwestern Ontario, he was a postdoc at Stanford University, USA, after having earned his Ph.D. in Management from EM Lyon, France. His research interests lie at the intersection of Social Theory, Management and Multimodal analysis. And he is an avid proponent of better incorporating visual data in management research. His recent research was published in Research in the Sociology of Organization.
Topic: Dr. Zhao will focus on social media visual data. He will overview the diverse theoretical and methodological approaches in understanding and explaining our organizational world that is both mediatized and rich in visual. He will also bring forward some thorny issues in conducting empirical research involving social media visual data.


Dr. Kathryn Sinden, Lakehead School of Kinesiology

Dr. Kathryn SindenBio: Dr. Kathryn Sinden is a kinesiologist and an Assistant Professor in the School of Kinesiology. Her area of research in Applied Ergonomics and Work Health focuses on understanding mechanisms that increase risk of injury and illness in various occupational contexts. Current projects are being conducted in partnership with Thunder Bay Fire Rescue and the Thunder Bay Professional Firefighters Association to understand the relationship between physical demands and exposure to critical events on injury and illness risk factors.
Topic: An important aspect of ergonomic research is finding ways to effectively translate research findings to the knowledge users or stakeholders who need to uptake the findings. Dr. Sinden will be discussing how she uses Twitter and the FIREWELL website to communicate about her research and how both approaches have been effective in both dissemination and building research collaborations.


Drs. Judith Leggatt and Monica Flegel, Lakehead Department of English

Drs. Monica Flegel and Judith Leggatt Bios: Monica Flegel and Judith Leggatt are Associate Professors of English at Lakehead University. Dr. Flegel teaches and publishes in the areas of cultural studies, fan studies, animals in Victorian culture, and child studies. Her most recent articles were published in Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, Contemporary Women’s Writing and the Journal of Popular Culture. Dr. Leggatt teaches and publishes on Indigenous literature and on speculative fiction. Her most recent journal articles were published in Bookbird, Native American Indigenous Studies Journal and Canadian Literature. Together they are working on a book manuscript on politics in Marvel comics and a large project on fan criticism. The latter project includes public talks, conference presentations, articles, and a YouTube channel.
Topic: News that Russian bots were used to inflame fan discussion of 2017's The Last Jedi might have come as a surprise to many. We will discuss why fan culture online is increasingly playing a large role in politics, and how bots are shaping online discussion in ways that both replicate and shape over-simplified, polarizing discourse. 
  • Light refreshments will be served at this event.
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