“Book Birthing” and Conspicuous Literary Consumption: Writing and Reading Books in the Time of COVID-19

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During the COVID-19 pandemic Twitter became for many a way of communicating. For those of us with more library cards than credit cards, and a hefty TBR (to be read) pile at home the lockdown could have been paradisiacal. As lockdown forced bookshop doors shut, the social media platform became a site to share news of independent businesses in need, with users rallying around and buying books in their thousands. Yet the paradise that was lockdown was only that for the hallowed few. Gender roles reverted, with women carrying the brunt of domestic and caring responsibilities around the home. During April and May 2020 women provided the sole source of childcare for 26.5 h per week (against 17 h in 2014).¹ Yet, during this period, the number of women publishing books—and celebrating this fact—on Twitter was conspicuous. On publication day, authors birthed their books, and waited patiently for readers to consume, inhale, or sink their teeth into their textual progeny. This paper will consider the bio-mechanical terms used by anglophone authors and readers on Twitter during the lockdown, and ask are these metaphors related to our pandemic bookshelves or connected to publishing and reading more widely?

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COVID-19 and ensuing changes in mobility have altered employment relations for millions of people across the globe. Emerging evidence shows that women may be more severely affected by this change. The pandemic, however, may have an impact beyond the immediate restructuring of employment and shift gender-role attitudes within households as a result of changes in the division of household labor. We analyze a representative sample of respondents in the U.S., Germany, and Singapore and show that transitions to unemployment, reductions in working hours and transitions to working from home have been more frequent for women than for men-although not to the same extent across the three countries. We also demonstrate that among couples who had been employed at the start of the pandemic, men express more egalitarian gender-role attitudes if they became unemployed but their partners remained employed, while women express more traditional attitudes if they became unemployed and their partners remained employed. These results indicate that gender-role attitudes might adapt to the lived realities. The long-term consequences will depend on how both men and women experience further shifts in their employment relations as economies recover.
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Social computing systems such as Twitter present new research sites that have provided billions of data points to researchers. However, the availability of public social media data has also presented ethical challenges. As the research community works to create ethical norms, we should be considering users’ concerns as well. With this in mind, we report on an exploratory survey of Twitter users’ perceptions of the use of tweets in research. Within our survey sample, few users were previously aware that their public tweets could be used by researchers, and the majority felt that researchers should not be able to use tweets without consent. However, we find that these attitudes are highly contextual, depending on factors such as how the research is conducted or disseminated, who is conducting it, and what the study is about. The findings of this study point to potential best practices for researchers conducting observation and analysis of public data.
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This is the perfect book for any student new to qualitative research. In this exciting and major updating of his bestselling, benchmark text, David Silverman walks the reader through the basics of gathering and analysing qualitative data. David Silverman offers beginners unrivalled hands-on guidance necessary to get the best out of a research methods course or an undergraduate research project. New to the fourth edition: - A new chapter on data analysis dealing with grounded theory, discourse analysis and narrative analysis - Further worked-through examples of different kinds of data and how to interpret them - A separate section on focus groups and interpreting focus group data - An expanded ethics chapter - More coverage of digital media and photographs as data - A companion website with additional case studies and examples, links to SAGE journals online, and links to useful websites, podcasts and Youtube videos. This fourth edition is also accompanied with its own group page on where users can give feedback and discuss research issues.Visit
Using Foucault's Methods provides a clear, straightforward guide to those who want to apply the work of Foucault to their own field of interest. The authors employ an accessible style to encourage readers to engage with Foucault's work (and other Foucaultian thought) by tackling those questions and issues that students often raise about his work. They are then shown the many ways Foucault's methods have been used in the analysis of social order. The book is organized around the following themes: history, archaeology, genealogy and discourse as the cornerstones of Foucault's methods; and science and culture as important objects of analysis for those using Foucault's methods. Using Foucault's Methods will dispel any possibility that Foucault might be seen as a mystical and impenetrable writer and enable the reader to understand how Foucault's contribution to social thought can be applied and open up possibilities for researchers to use Foucault rather than merely discuss him.
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