The Why We Post research project was a comparative study of how the use of social media varies around the world.
As part of the research project nine anthropologists were recruited from diverse corners of the globe, from Trinidad to rural China – and even a sleepy village in England, – collecting social media data for over fifteen months, focused on themes from politics to family matters.
The results from this valuable research represents a new approach to sociology teaching and learning, with Globalisation and the Digital Social World as a core theme in our A Level specifications, including how modern media impacts upon culture. This provides an exciting approach to exploring other cultures, as well as complementing personal development and independent learning.
If we flip the blog title on its head, do cultural differences have an effect on how social media platforms are used in a particular part of the world? And are the findings collected from one country applicable to others?
Project lead Professor Daniel Miller provides some thoughts around this question when interviewed in his accompanying project video about the methodology of the project,
“This at least as much about how the world has changed social media, as it is about how social media has changed the world” he goes on to say “You can’t compare US college kids with farmers in India.”
And fellow researcher, Jolynna Sinanan adds “For example, I would see that in Trinidad people really care about what they look like on Facebook, whereas in the English field site, people don’t”.
Laura Pountney, a Sociology teacher and author, worked on the project in partnership with Dr Tom McDonald from the University of Hong Kong, who is also a member of the Why We Post research team.
Together they created a range of teaching resources written specifically to compliment the OCR Sociology A Level course that explores the projects findings.
These resources comprise of teachers’ and students’ packs and a slide deck featuring embedded videos and prompts.
Activities relate to sociological research methodology, the application of social theories as well as links to globalisation and other sociological variables.
There are also a parallel set of resources being produced for students of the same age studying Liberal Studies in Hong Kong with the idea that students in both locations can compare contexts by uploading their findings to the project’s web page.
If you would like to start using the resources as part of your lesson plan, electronic copies are available for schools to use, with the opportunity to set as flipped learning or extension.
To access these great resources just email me, Lucy Carey, Subject Advisor for Sociology at Sociology@OCR.org.uk.
To learn more about the Why We Post project and the discoveries the team made visit the Why We Post website.
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Lucy Carey - Subject Advisor - Sociology
Lucy joined OCR in September 2017 as the Subject Advisor for Sociology and Psychology. Before joining OCR she worked as a teacher being the head of Sociology and Psychology departments in Peterborough, Yorkshire and Cambridge. In her spare time she enjoys scuba diving and travel.
Laura Pountney - Sociology Teacher
Laura has been a Sociology and Anthropology teacher for over 15 year and is a senior examiner for Anthropology A Level. Laura has authored a number of Anthropology and Sociology textbooks and has collaborated on curriculum development. As well as this Laura runs teacher training events and she is currently involved with research on the Impact of social Media in Hong Kong and the UK. In her spare time, Laura loves spending time with her large family, travelling and doing as much sport as possible.