Scale matters: doing practice-based studies of contemporary digital phenomena
“As a practice scholar of contemporary digital phenomena, I feel increasingly challenged to better account for scale. My conceptual toolbox, which has served me well in conducting ‘classic’ workplace studies of technology, has not helped me attend to scale in my practice-based studies of digital phenomena. Should I relinquish this responsibility to those researchers whose tools and methods seem to address scale more naturally or obviously? Or are there ways to develop practice approaches to scale in studies of contemporary digital phenomena?” In recent years, we have heard these questions raised by experienced practice researchers and pondered them ourselves. Why and how does scale matter in practice? And relatedly, how should we as practice scholars conceptualize and examine scale in our research?