Researching intimacy through social media: A cross-platform approach
AbstractThis paper aims to contribute to the understanding of how to study the way people build intimacy and manage privacy through social media interaction. It explores the research design and methodology of a research project based on a multi-sited case study composed of three different social media platforms: Badoo, CouchSurfing, and Facebook. This cross-platform approach is useful to observe how intimacy is often negotiated across different platforms. The research project focuses on the cities of Leeds (UK) and Barcelona (Spain). In particular, this article discusses the methods used to recruit participants and collect data for that study - namely, participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and user profiles analysis. This cross-platform approach and multi-method research design is helpful to investigate the nature of intimacy practices facilitated by social media at several levels: online/offline, across different platforms, among different types of relationships, within both new and existing relationships, and in different locations
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