Module Code: ASC320

Module Title: Sex Crime And Justice In An Electronic Age

ASSIGNMENT 2: Report (worth 40% of final mark and grade)

This assignment requires you to a 1600-word research report. You will have to:

  1. pick one topic from the three options detailed below;
  2. formulate one original research question related to the topic of your choosing;
  3. to answer your research question, pick one methodology from the two options detailed below;
  4. conduct a small data collection and data analysis;
  5. write the results of your research project in a report following the structure that is detailed below.


All the reports must have a standard structure comprised of 5 sections:

1. Introduction. The introduction will contain a literature review, where you will summarize key scientific articles on the topic (max 300 words). Please start summarizing the relevant readings that I suggest in the topics description (see next page).

2. Research question. This section is very brief, and it will contain a small paragraph where you will introduce and formulate a research question that you will address in your report (max 100 words). To formulate well your research question, please watch the video presented in Topic 3.1.

3. Methods. In this section you will explain how you conducted your research (max 400 words). Please follow the instructions in the video in Topic 3.1. For example:- if you analysed the content of a website, you will have to explain when you did it, how long it
took, what type of data you collected, how much data, how you collected it, how you analysed it; – if you interviewed a friend or a family member, you will have to explain when you when you did it, how long the interview took, what type of data you collected (e.g. did you take notes?), how much notes, how you analysed it.

4. Results. In this section, you will report the main findings of your research. What did you discover? How do your results answer your research question? You can present the results in any logical order that you think is best to provide a complete response to your research question (max 400 words).

5. Discussion. In this section, you will discuss your original research findings and compare them with existing literature on the topic. Do your research findings support existing theories that you read in the readings? Do they contradict existing theories? Are they similar to other research findings that you read in the readings of this unit? (max 400 words).


Please select one of the following topics for your report:

Topic 1. Online misogyny. Online misogyny is a broad concept, which may involve the direct threat of violence but also other forms of harm such as psychological, professional or reputational harm. Online misogyny can involve direct forms of harm (such as name calling, harassment or unwanted sexual advances) but also indirect forms of harm, which involve making digital technologies a less equal, less safe, or less inclusive space for women. If you choose this topic, you are encouraged to focus on one of the many manifestations and effects of online misogyny and to consider manifestations of online misogyny in the broader social and political context. Suggested readings. Please start with the four readings suggested in Topic 4.4.

Topic 2. Online misinformation. Online misinformation is generally defined as false, misleading or deceptive information that circulates in digital platforms. It can include made-up news or scientific articles, deceiving images and videos, false information, conspiracy theories and scam advertisements in various forms. Online misinformation can address a large variety of topics including for example health, climate change, political leaders and elites, war, etc. If you chose this topic, you are encouraged to focus on one specific manifestation of online misinformation, narrowing it down to one topic and one digital platform. Suggested readings: Please start with the four readings suggested in Topic 5.4.

Topic 3. Online hate speech. Hate speech is a broad concept that includes includes a range of verbal or non-verbal manifestations of hatred against a people belonging to visibly different groups defined by perceived racial or ethnic identity, religious identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, among others. Examples of non-verbal forms of hate speech can be gestures, words or symbols, bestial depictions of members of minorities, hate symbols, among others. In digital platforms, hate speech can be communicated via memes, images, videos, and other user generated content. Some forms of hate speech—for example, incitement to hatred, Holocaust denial—might be regulated by criminal law in certain jurisdictions, by civil law, or not regulated at all. If you choose this topic, I encourage you to focus on one specific form of hate speech (e.g., a meme) against one specific target group (e.g., a religious minority). Suggested readings: Please start with the four readings suggested in Topic 6.4.


To address the research questions, pick one methodology from the two options detailed below:

Methodology 1. Thematic analysis. A thematic analysis is a descriptive presentation of qualitative data. This methodology involves collecting and coding a sample of materials to look for the variety of themes emerging from the data. t requires familiarising yourself with the content to identify and analyse patterns and recurring themes and their meaning.

Methodology 2. Qualitative interviews of online users. If you want to understand how users of digital platforms experience, use and understand content, you can choose to conduct one or maximum two qualitative interviews of a friend or a family member who has knowledge or direct experience of the topic that you are investigating.


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