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Mary Gray: "Anthropology as BIG DATA: Making the case for ethnography as a critical dimension in digital media and technology studies", Nov 13

Drawing on examples from her past and current research, Mary Gray talks about both responding to recent provocations about the role of “big data” in human communication research and technology studies and outline the value of anthropology, as a particular kind of “big data,” that warrants more attention.

She will argue for attending to different kinds of data (from the statistically to the ethnographically significant), more collaborative approaches to how researchers arrive at what they (think they) know, and critical analysis of the cultural assumptions embedded in the data we collect.

Mary L. Gray is Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research New England and Associate Professor of Communication and Culture at Indiana University. Her work focuses on how people use digital and social media in everyday ways to shape their social identities and create spaces for themselves.