Our series re.searched presents researchers of the St. Pölten UAS. Next one up: Astrid Ebner-Zarl, researcher at the Institute of Media Economics at the St. Pölten UAS.
To me, curiosity means…
… not being satisfied with the simple explanations but looking below the surface, being alert and perceiving even small changes. This is why I’m fascinated by sociological research: it allows for exactly this.
I do research because…
… research creates new knowledge, thus contributing to further development – both social and personal. As a researcher, my activity can contribute to the good of society and it also allows me to grow personally because research always means learning and experiencing new things. Research gives me the opportunity to delve into a subject and I enjoy analysing things, questioning them and making sense of the bigger picture behind them. And last but not least, it gives me joy to pass on new insights to students as a lecturer.
In the next 20 years, our society will be characterised by…
… the continued digitalisation of all areas of life. Also, everything will become faster. In the field of media and technologies in particular, we are already experiencing profound social changes in a relatively short period of time.
This makes it all the more important to keep an eye on the potential consequences of new developments on the members of society and their living conditions – in a positive as well as negative sense. On the one hand, new media technologies can be accompanied by opportunities, an extended scope of action, and innovative solutions to problems. On the other hand, they may involve risks, dangers and new problems as well. This applies not only but particularly to the framework conditions that children and teenagers grow up in because they are a population group with an especially high affinity to media and are often “early adopters” of new technologies. Social studies are very important in this context as they systematically describe social phenomena, investigate their causes and effects, and thus also identify problematic situations and bring them into the general discourse.
About the person
Mag. Mag. (FH) Astrid Ebner-Zarl does research on the topics of media, youth and gender at the St. Pölten UAS. She studied media management at the St. Pölten UAS and sociology with a focus on gender studies at the Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU). At the moment, Astrid Ebner-Zarl is writing her dissertation in sociology at the JKU.