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Ylva Hård af Segerstad


Inst tillämpad IT, avd för lärande, kommunikation och
Forskningsgången 6
41756 Göteborg
Göteborgs universitet
41296 Göteborg

Om Ylva Hård af Segerstad

Associate professor Ylva Hård af Segerstad is a researcher at the Department of Applied Information Technology at the University of Gothenburg. She holds a PhD in general linguistics and is Associate Professor in Applied Information Technology. With a background research interest largely focusing on aspects of text-based interaction in digital communication technologies, her current research is focusing on the role and use of mobile communication technologies and social media in an increasingly digitalised society. Hård af Segerstad’s research is underpinned by a keen interest in developing methods for data collection, analysis and visualization as well as ethical aspects of doing research on digital communication technologies.

Hård af Segerstad’s research is conducted in connection with two of the priority research areas at the University of Gothenburg: The Learning and Media Technology Studio (LETStudio) and the Center for Language Technology (CLT). She is also a senior research member of The Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS). She is a long-time member the international Association of Internet Researchers (https://aoir.org/) and member of the association’s ethics committee.

Current research activities

Digital Tools for Peer-support to Sustain Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Strategies for Coping with Death. A Matter of Quality of Life In collaboration with the member organisation Ung Cancer (https://ungcancer.se/) and the research institute RISE Interactive (https://www.ri.se/), Hård af Segerstad has initiated an interdisciplinary research and innovation effort together with Associate Professor Stefan Nilsson (Sahlgrenska Academy Institute of Health and Care Sciences at the University of Gothenburg) and Peter Sand, PhD (Department of Psychiatry, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg).

The goals of the project are 1) to investigate the role of digital tools and peer-support to sustain adolescents’ and young adults’ (AYAs) coping with death and dying when living with cancer; and 2) to adapt existing digital tools for peer-support and to develop a new applic¬¬ation for peer-support running on smartphones with the aim of sustaining their coping strategies.

Learning to Cope with the Death of a Child: Grieving Through Social Media

Together with Associate professor Dick Kasperowski, Christopher Kullenberg, PhD, and Associate Professor Christine Howes (Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science at the University of Gothenburg), Hård af Segerstad has been carrying out studies of how social media and peer support are used as vital resources in the process of learning to cope with grief and loss of a child. The study is conducted in connection with the priority research area Learning and Media Technology Studio (LETStudio). The popular social media discourse has a tendency to focus on the harmful or frivolous nature of the technology use. This shallow view of social networks obfuscates the ways in which the media can be used as a positive social resource for learning and knowledge development. Online grief support communities on social media offer means for bereaved parents to continue bonds with their deceased children and may act as vital resources for coping with grief in ways that has not been available previously. As such, they propose new and important, but still under-researched, contexts for the formation of normative practices where trajectories of bereavement can be studied in detail. These potentials have hitherto not been recognized enough for its possibilities to influence health care, societal understandings and attitudes towards the loss of a child.

Read more about the project here: http://www.letstudio.gu.se/studio-2/grieving-through-social-networks/

The DNA of Mobile Communication Together with fellow LinCS researcher, associate professor Alexandra Weilenmann, Hård af Segerstad was awarded funding for a research project from the Swedish Research Council (2013-2015). The project was conducted in close co-operation with the priority research area Center for Language Technology (CLT). The aim of the project was two-fold: 1) to analyse the DNA of mobile communication, i.e. the interlinking of spoken and written communication, and 2) to develop a platform for studying mobile communication, including techniques for data collection and a corpus to be used in further research.

Analysing the DNA of mobile communication means to study the whole chain of naturally occurring spoken and text-based mobile communication in context by analyzing the sequences of interaction and its components. Mainly for technical reasons, previous studies of mobile communication lack analysis of this complexity. Focus has been on one-sided communication and on either voice or text data. However, calls and texts cannot be regarded as isolated incidents but as parts of a continuous communication process. Empirical data was collected using software allowing for audio recording of both sides of voice calls and logging of text messages, followed by interviews with the participants in the project.

Read more about the project here: http://www.ait.gu.se/english/mcl