Article published in:Methodology in Linguistic Landscape Research
Edited by Robert Blackwood
[Linguistic Landscape 3:3] 2017
► pp. 246–266
(T)Apping the linguistic landscape
Methodological challenges and the scientific potential of a citizen-science approach to the study of social semiotics
This article explores methodological challenges and scientific perspectives of a citizen science approach to linguistic landscapes research. Starting from the outline of a disciplinary landscape, the text first discusses development strategies and practical implementation of crowdsourcing via mobile applications as means to data collection in two participatory research projects. The comparison highlights the complex trade-off between empirical benefits and methodological drawbacks in relation to mobile app setups for crowdsourcing. In a second step, the use of crowdsourcing technology is embedded in a methodological framework for a citizen science approach to the study of social semiotics and discussed against the background of five guiding principles: participatory research, lifeworld orientation, societal engagement, computational analysis, and open research practice. The discussion points out that a citizen science approach brings about numerous opportunities as well as substantial challenges for academic practice in terms of a democratization, social embedding, and opening of research activities.
Keywords: methodology, crowdsourcing, mobile application, citizen science, participatory research, shared authority
- 1.Background: A disciplinary landscape
- 2.Data collection with mobile applications: a comparative account
- 3.Methodological groundings of a community-based participatory research
- 3.1Participatory research
- 3.2Lifeworld orientation
- 3.3Societal engagement
- 3.4Computational analysis
- 3.5Open research practice
- 4.Outlook: Potential and shortcomings for LL research
Published online: 19 January 2018
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