Posted by rebeccamallett on June 22, 2011
[From DRF Member: Jayne Sellick - find out more about Jayne on the People page]
In this piece I would like to draw your attention to a blog that I have composed as part of my ongoing doctoral research in the Geography Department at Durham University (UK). As it is intended to be user-led I’m looking for suggestions about where I might go to address potential participants or audiences; whom to contact to at which organisations or groups; or personal experiences of conducting online research. Despite the accessibility issues associated with some online networks I’m using Twitter and setting up a Facebook group to tell the world about the blog and hopefully start some new conversations!
The Blog – The purpose of disidentities.com is to access the views, experiences, opinions and current debates that are important to disability, health, illness, (chronic) pain and impairment. Drawing on both online and offline participants is just one step towards providing new understandings of the temporal and spatial experiences of dis(abled) identities.
Disidentities.com has been established using a participatory framework that positions the users of the research in a central role, encouraging them to make decisions, choose methods or topics and determine outcomes. Therefore the research project becomes a collaboration that involves working together to produce effective and relevant research.
The blog offers a space to listen, to share and to collaborate, where participants are asked to focus on change over time, thinking through the past or present and towards the future. While this complements the offline encounters that have taken place with wheelchair users; chronic pain groups; amputees; people who are blind or visually impaired; and partners or carers – the project is interested in:
- Day-to-day and mundane routines;
- Longer term change over time;
- Practices and processes encountered or adopted as part of the above;
- The role of other people (medical professionals, family, friends) in these experiences.
While the blog allows users to address the current themes or adopt their own, the following developed in face-to-face settings with participants retelling their own narratives:
- The role of recovery refers to using alternative therapies as a way of ‘forgetting’ pain; spacing and breaking up time to perform tasks and organise daily routines; attending hospital appointments as part of a process of temporary recovery;
- The role of comfort refers to users discussing moments without bodily or emotional pain;
- The role of different emotions associated with daily living or other experiences; feelings before, during and after treatment; revisiting emotions from the past; and the future of longer term emotions disidentities.
These are just starting points and provide an indication of things participants have been discussing.
You can contact me directly on email@example.com, through the blog or comment on this post below. I’m looking forward to hearing people’s reactions, suggestions and own experiences.
Posted in Disability Studies and..., DRF News | Tagged: disability research, disability studies, identity, interdisciplinary, technology, UK | Leave a Comment »
Posted by rebeccamallett on February 28, 2011
The following event has been added to the Other Events section.
Event: Centre for Culture & Disability Studies (CCDS) Research Forum *FREE!*
Date: 8th March 2011 ~ 4pm – 6pm
Venue: WAREE036 (Powys Lecture Theatre), Liverpool Hope University, UK.
- ‘Disability 2.0: Investigating Socio-Technical Experiences of Disability in Social Media’ ~ Sarah Lewthwaite (Learning Sciences Research Institute, School of Education, University of Nottingham, UK)
Abstract: For many young people, social networks are an essential part of the student experience. Sarah Lewthwaite explores disabled students’ experiences of disability in social networks to understand how dis/ability difference is ascribed and negotiated within such networks, and the impact it has on university life. This research is firmly located within the social sciences, drawing on the thinking of Foucault to develop understandings of disability and power relations online. However, its research object, the socio-technical mediation of disability, is interdisciplinary, drawing on research territories that are unfamiliar to many disability studies researchers. Sarah gives a backstage look at negotiating a path through interdisciplinary disability studies research, touching on information sciences and human computer interaction, and the particular problems and opportunities that this kind of activity presents. She introduces the notion of ‘bricolage’ as a user-friendly multi-perspective methodology and research approach that has enabled her to develop new, technology-enhanced and accessible research methods, and develop a research lens drawing on complementary methods from Activity Theory, Phenomenography, Discourse Analysis and Case Study. It will be an interactive session aimed at researchers and students, but prior knowledge of the methods and technologies presented is not necessary. Following on from an orientation in social media research for disability studies, Sarah will also talk about the findings of her research, which consider the ways in which social technologies reposition disabled people within taxonomies of identity, enabling some and dis-abling others.
For further information from the organisers, please contact: Dr. Ria Cheyne: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted in DRF News, Events and Conferences | Tagged: disability research, disability studies, disabled students, FREE!, HE, interdisciplinary, technology, theory, UK | Leave a Comment »
Posted by rebeccamallett on December 15, 2010
We are thrilled to announce that on 22nd November 2010, long-standing and dedicated DRF member Sarah Lewthwaite successfully navigated her viva. Examined by Prof. Jane Seale (Plymouth) and Dr. Kay Hawe (Nottingham), a summary of the thesis is below and more information about Sarah’s work can be found on our People and Publications pages. Congratulations Dr Sarah!!!
PhD Title: Disability 2.0: Student dis/Connections. A study of student experiences of disability and social networks on campus in Higher Education.
PhD Summary: Sarah’s thesis explores the networked experiences of disabled students to examine how dis/ability difference is ascribed and negotiated within the social network Facebook. The thesis presents 18 case studies that generated 34 internet-enabled phenomenographic interviews. The research draws on the thinking of Foucault and the notion of bricolage as an approach to research that lies at the juncture between disability studies, educational research and social media. The research finds that networks are shown to have the potential to reposition disabled students within taxonomies of identity. Two interrelated conclusions are drawn. First, social networks are essential to student life, yet not all students can access them on an equal basis, introducing a digital divide with material social outcomes. Second, networks represent a redefinition of dis/ability where some students with impairments are non-disabled, or may adopt non-disabled interactions, where others do not. Diversity is thus suppressed and students disabled by the network are doubly disadvantaged as disability is rendered invisible and the social and digital divide of the network is reinforced.
Posted in DRF News | Tagged: disability research, disabled students, education, HE, technology | Leave a Comment »