THE SHAPE OF PLATFORM STUDIES: A MULTIDIMENSIONAL METHODOLOGICAL MODEL FOR A VICISSITUDINOUS CONCEPT
Keywords:platforms, platform studies, methodology, platform politics
AbstractThe study of platforms is on the rise in communication studies, science and technology studies (STS), game studies, internet studies, and the study of human-machine communication (HMC). While originally platform studies emerged from hardware studies as an integrated attempt to study the hardware, software, code, marketing, and use of computational technologies—especially, early on, videogame consoles, but never limited to them—its use has been broadened to include the study of software platforms, such as social media sites, and their user affordances, algorithmic decision making, terms of service, background code environments, and embeddedness in neoliberal capitalism: selling user data, acting as advertising mediums, etc. While a fruitful field with much work developed, there is a noticeable dearth of methodological theorising on the topic, even as there are numerous theoretical explorations. How exactly does one $2 platform studies? We propose a multidimensional approach to platform studies, in which work may be located along at least three major axes: computational—sociotechnical, pragmatic—critical, and interpersonal—structural. These three dimensions of platform studies are combinable, provisional, and subject to extension. While the three dimensions offered up for discussion here cannot speak to the entirely of what platform studies $2 or $2 , together and as a starting point these initial three define the shape of platform studies, track the work it has already done, and offer a solid framework and model for future investigations.
How to Cite
Rambukkana, N., & de Verteuil, G. (2021). THE SHAPE OF PLATFORM STUDIES: A MULTIDIMENSIONAL METHODOLOGICAL MODEL FOR A VICISSITUDINOUS CONCEPT. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2021. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12229