Associate professor Ylva Hård af Segerstad is a researcher at the Department of Applied Information Technology at the University of Gothenburg. She holds a PhD in general linguistics and is associate professor in Applied Information Technology. With a background research interest largely focusing on aspects of text-based interaction in digital communication technologies, her current research is focusing on the role and use of mobile communication technologies and social media. Hård af Segerstad’s research is underpinned by a keen interest in developing methods for data collection, analysis and visualization as well as ethical aspects of doing research on digital communication technologies.
Hård af Segerstad’s research is conducted in connection with two of the priority research areas at the University of Gothenburg: The Learning and Media Technology Studio (LETStudio) and the Center for Language Technology (CLT). She is also a senior research member of The Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS).
Together with fellow LinCS researcher, associate professor Alexandra Weilenmann, Hård af Segerstad was awarded funding for a research project from the Swedish Research Council (2013-2015). The project is called "The DNA of Mobile Communication", and is conducted in close co-operation with the priority research area Center for Language Technology (CLT). The aim of this project is two-fold: 1) to analyze the DNA of mobile communication, i.e. the interlinking of spoken and written communication, and 2) to develop a platform for studying mobile communication, including techniques for data collection and a corpus to be used in further research.
Analyzing the DNA of mobile communication means to study the whole chain of naturally occurring spoken and text-based mobile communication in context by analyzing the sequences of interaction and its components. Mainly for technical reasons, previous studies of mobile communication lack analysis of this complexity. Focus has been on one-sided communication and on either voice or text data. However, calls and texts cannot be regarded as isolated incidents but as parts of a continuous communication process. Empirical data will be collected using software allowing for audio recording of both sides of voice calls and logging of text messages, followed by interviews with the participants in the project.
Read more about the project:
The DNA of mobile communication
Together with dr Dick Kasperowski, at the department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science at the University of Gothenburg, Hård af Segerstad is carrying out a pilot study of how social media are used in and support the process of learning to cope with grief and loss of a child. The study is conducted in connection with the priority research area Learning and Media Technology Studio (LETStudio). The popular social media discourse has a tendency to focus on the harmful or frivolous nature of the technology use. This shallow view of social networks obfuscates the ways in which the media can be used as a positive social resource for learning and knowledge development. Online grief support communities on social media offer means for bereaved parents to continue bonds with their deceased children and may act as vital resources for coping with grief in ways that has not been available previously. As such, they propose new and important, but still under-researched, contexts for the formation of normative practices where trajectories of bereavement can be studied in detail. These potentials has hitherto not been recognized enough for its possibilities to influence health care, societal understandings and attitudes towards the loss of a child.
Read more about the project:
Learning to Cope With the Death of a Child: Grieving Through Social Networks
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