Participations: Exploring the methodological synergies of multimethod audience research


Guest editors: Kim Christian Schrøder, Uwe Hasebrink, Sascha Hölig and Martin Barker

Special issue concept

The Special Issue aims to develop a candid and constructive dialogue between different scholarly approaches to the exploration of audience practices. We seek contributions which reflect on and implement multi-method approaches to all aspects and dimensions of the practices and sense-making activities of media audiences and users. One particular area of interest is the exploration of cross-media audiences with mixed methods, but the Special Issue is open to other kinds of audience research which have adopted a multi-method approach.

The purpose of the Special Issue is thus to demonstrate and discuss how precisely dialogues between research paradigms within audience research may contribute to enhance the explanatory power of theory-driven fieldwork studies of contemporary media audiences. It will bring together representatives from different research paradigms (such as behavioural, cognitive and sense-making approaches), in order to explore the complementarity and synergies of the different methodological paths taken.

Although multimethod audience research is not a new phenomenon, we believe that with the emergence of the ‘mediatized’ society characterized by media digitization and convergence, the need to cross-fertilize scholarly paradigms has acquired a new urgency. In the Special Issue we wish to address this urgency by inviting articles which combine a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives, and which do so by combining practical analysis and solid empirical experiences with epistemological, theoretical, and methodological reflection.

Rooted in different research traditions – from a more behavioural ‘media choice’ perspective to a more sense-making ‘mediatized worlds’ perspective – the contributors to this Special Issue will in a manner of speaking compare notes, based on their different disciplinary frameworks, their different but overlapping foci (or knowledge interests), the scope of their empirical work on different kinds of audience practice, their objectives, and their preferred methodologies. Conceivably, the dialogue thus opened up could develop into an ongoing debate in this and other journals, and perhaps to cross-approach collaboration.


Submission and selection process

Contributors are invited to submit long abstracts (600-800 words), in which they carefully describe a (completed or close to completion) audience research project which has explored in a methodologically reflective way the benefits of using a multi-method approach to cross-media audience practices or other aspects of the experience and/or use of print, broadcasting and digital media.

We recognise the complexity of arguments in this domain.  For this reason, we plan to take advantage of Participations’ status as an online Journal, which permits both greater length of submissions (working to a proposed limit of 12,000 words), and no fixed limit on numbers of submissions we will be able to accept.

Deadline for submission of long abstracts: 15 December 2011.

Selection of contributors to write a full-length draft article for peer review: 15 January 2012.

Deadline for submission of full-length draft articles for peer review: 15 June 2012

Participations has long followed a practice of open refereeing.  Adopting this for this Special Issue, we propose that submissions will be cross-evaluated among those who will be contributing, to a shared set of criteria developed for this purpose.


Contact information

Please send your proposal by email to the guest editors:

Kim Christian Schrøder,

Uwe Hasebrink,

Sascha Hölig,

Martin Barker,

Submissions (as Word attachments) should contain, in addition to a separate abstract, a page with the title of the presentation, the name of the Special Issue, and the name(s) and contact details for ALL authors.

For submission guidelines and rules for article manuscripts, please visit:


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