Digital Methodologies in the Sociology of Religion 16th November 2012, Enterprise Centre, University of Derby

 In Call for Papers, Uncategorized

Call for Papers: Digital Methodologies in the Sociology of Religion
16th November 2012, Enterprise Centre, University of Derby
Organised by the Centre for Society, Religion & Belief (SRB), University
of Derby Funded by Digital Social Research (DSR)

Within an era of a growing reliance on digital technologies to instantly
and effectively express our values, allegiances, and multi-faceted
identities, the interest in digital research methodologies among
Sociologists of Religion comes as no surprise (e.g. Bunt 2009; Cantoni
and Zyga 2007; Contractor 2012 and Ostrowski 2006; Taylor 2003). However
the methodological challenges associated with such research have been
given significantly less attention. What are the epistemological
underpinnings and rationale for the use ‘digital’ methodologies? What
ethical dilemmas do sociologists face, including while protecting
participants’ interests in digital contexts that are often perceived as
anonymised and therefore ‘safe’?

Implementing such ‘digital’ research also leads to practical challenges
such as mismatched expectations of IT skills, limited access to
specialized tools, project management and remote management of research

Hosted by the Centre for Society, Religion, and Belief at the University
of Derby and funded by Digital Social Research, this conference will
bring together scholars to critically evaluate the uses, impacts,
challenges and future of Digital Methodologies in the Sociology of
Religion. We envisage that the conference will lead to an edited
textbook and are currently in discussion with key publishers.

For the purpose of the conference and textbook, digital research is
broadly defined as research that either works within digital contexts or
which uses either online or offline digital tools. Abstracts for papers
that focus on one, or more, of the following themes are

1. Epistemological Positioning
2. Ethical Dilemmas
3. Implementation & Practical Challenges 4. Wider impacts beyond

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, as well as the
titland contact details to Dr Sariya Contractor (
and Dr. Suha Shakkour ( by 5pm on Tuesday 28th
August, 2012. Shortlisted participants will be notified by 11th
September 2012 and will be expected to submit summary papers (1000
words) by 1st November 2012 for circulation prior to the conference. A
registration fee of £30 will apply for all speakers and delegates. A few
travel bursaries are available for post-graduate students. Further
details about the registration process will be circulated by


Dr Sariya Contractor
Project Researcher
Religion and Belief, Discrimination and Equality Project Faculty of
Education, Health and Sciences University of Derby, Kedleston Road,
Derby, DE22 1GB


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