De-Sanitising the ‘New Normal’: The Lived Experiences of ‘Digital Research’ in context of the COVID-19 India
Keywords:new normal, digital research, pandemic
This paper examines the lived experiences of the ‘new normal’ and ‘digital research’ among the social researchers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in India. While the pandemic erupted a crisis around the globe, the developing nation of India encountered its bitter effects in the form of lack of potent infrastructures to contain it. Besides, the swift propagation of ‘digital research’ by the educational institutions emerged as a workable alternative for some scholars but posed graver consequences for others belonging to marginalised groups. Reflecting upon this, three themes have appeared from the study; the digital monolith, voices and its checkpoints, spacing and (de)spacing. The themes portray the transgressions in the practices of social research and the reflexive spaces of the research actors within the social reality of the ‘digital research’. The themes paved the concept of ‘academic non-membership’ as a situation where researchers are often excluded from the nexus of academic communities while being powerless in conforming to ‘digital research’ standards and the technical institutional orders. Drawing this, the paper explores the complex articulation of ‘digital research’ through the innate voices and testimonies of the researchers, at the backdrop of the ‘new normal’.
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