Today, in a meeting of a certain association, I was asked about my research, as apparently my expertise doesn’t fit any of traditional clusters of that associated association.
So, here is my answer:
My discipline is called science, technology, and society studies (STS) and my research expertise lies between science/engineering and social science/humanities.
I research the complex interaction between technology and society.
Specifically, it’s an interdisciplinary intersection between sociology, urban studies, and media studies on one side and data science, information science, human-computer interaction on the other side.
Beyond that answer, I have further statements:
My Ph.D. is in Science and Technology Studies.
Mathematics and philosophy — while not directly applied to the research, they are central to my research thinking.
My architectural background influences my way of seeing and formulating societal problems. Spatiality has always been central in my work.
Recently, I borrow concepts from music in approaching societal events and theorizing social phenomenon.
Methodologically, I mix various methods from various disciplines, including: computational mapping, content/discourse analysis, quantitative and qualitative sociological research (including social network analysis), phenomenology, historiography, and ethnography. Occasionally I use statistical analysis and surveys.
In summary, I am an INTER and TRANS-DISCIPLINARY scholar.
What I am NOT and/or DON’T DO:
I’m not political scientist and don’t study politics. Thus, I don’t study political figures, political systems, or governance systems. I also don’t study political activities, political thought, political behaviour, and associated constitutions and laws.
I’m not interested in marketing or advertising studies, as in data science for marketing or communication for public relations/marketing/advertising.
I also don’t teach “communication” as in “how to communicate” or “interpersonal communication” or “basic communication skills”. I don’t have degree in communication. I’m at communication department because my research object is related to communication (as in communication technologies), but none of my classes and research is about basic/interpersonal communication.
I write a lot, but I don’t teach “writing” as in “how to write (well)”. I advise my own students on how to write better, but I’m not into teaching anybody how to write.
I don’t “research for research’s shake”, as in “I research this because I can“. Btw, it’s even better not to research at all than to research for research’s sake. I research because there’re real problems that need exploration and deserve deeper, research-based understanding. There’s the real lesson that can be gathered through research. To deal with real problems by using assumptions is not only an insult, but also wrong and potentially dangerous. So, research is needed then.
Okay, that’s it for now. I’ll add more in the future, when needed.