Post 7 – Issue Mapping

Rekha Dhanaram

The tool of mapping is one that has been emphasised throughout this subject. This weeks co creating and controversy maps definitely probed us to look deeper into the issue. Whilst I unfortunately missed out on the collaborative issue mapping exercise and the valuable component of discussion, I still attempted the task on my own.

I started by reflecting on an earlier word mapping exercise we did in large groups. The list reflects around 200 words used in conversations around asylum seekers and refugees. Creating the list was tedious but it was really interesting to see the jargon-like picture around this topic. Further rearranging these words in various scales from positive to negative, emotional to factual helped us truly see the narrative of our daily discourse.

This informed my mapping exercise this week.

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In Map 1 I revisited the stakeholders map we developed as a group in the beginning of this subject. However this time saw me develop a more clear and thorough view of the stakeholders and ‘environment’ as non human factors come into play. It was interesting to see how the discussion we’ve had around this issue has influencing my mapping and links I drew out. For instance data scraping exercise saw me draw out the issue of censorship and how it affects the stakeholders of media and government whilst influencing public perception. Furthermore from our initial map we discussed the role of media in depth which allowed me to flesh out this stakeholder even more. Finally when creating maps I always have questions arise which act as prompts for areas I could delve into more. I decided to incorporate this in my map as it presented a more natural mapping process with a richer view to look back on.

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Map 2 looked at the polemics instigated by the debates and emotions surrounding this topic. I created a list of these polemics by identifying the two actors debating. However it becomes instantly visible that there are multiple debates occurring across all stakeholders created a very interconnected yet at the same time a disjointed narrative around this issue. The narrative is not purely a social one, but one that concerns dynamics and outcomes on a social, emotional and physical sense. Hence ‘the social is not the explanation for the state of affairs of an issue; instead the state of affairs of an issue is precisely the social being performed by the actors.’ This essentially addresses Latour’s idea on the ‘associations between heterogeneous elements… a type of connection between things that are no themselves social (Rogers, Sánchez-Querubín & Kil 2015).’

Reflection

Post mapping, I was able to get in touch with my peers and reflect on their collaborative maps. This was useful as it allowed me to compare my own mapping exercise to theirs and gain knowledge on areas I would’ve missed.I particularly found their Stakeholder map interesting as it drew on actors I missed out on and went to the extent of naming public figures.

(Below – their map of re-brainstorming of stakeholders)

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Overall even though I missed out on the valuable insights gained from collaborative group work, I don’t feel like this exercise went to waste. Rather this week of self reflection of my personal thoughts was rather useful in really understanding the issue and identifying potential paths I would like to explore.

References

Rogers, R., Sánchez-Querubín, N. & Kil, A. 2015, Issue Mapping for an Ageing Europe, OAPEN, Amsterdam.