Building Bridges, Filling Gaps: Toward an Integrative Interdisciplinary and Mixed Method Approach for Future Audience Research in Relation to the Mediation of Distant Suffering
Based on extensive literature research and 11 expert interviews with academics familiar with the field of audience studies and mediation of distant suffering, this article provides a metadiscussion of the different paradigms and methodologies that can be used for further empirical audience research. It is argued that the “middle-way” paradigms such as critical realism, grounded theory, and pragmatism can productively serve as the basis for a common epistemic language in interdisciplinary research. A mixed-methods approach may serve well for a broad and holistic study of the audience. It is further argued that future empirical research of media users in relation to distant suffering could benefit from an interdisciplinary, mixed-methods approach.