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Which clippings match 'Disability Studies' keyword pg.1 of 1
14 JULY 2012

Student experiences of disability social networks, in and around higher education

"For many young people social networks such as Facebook are an essential part of their student experience. Other web–based, interactive services like Wikipedia and YouTube are also an important facet of everyday student life. New technologies have always been scrutinized for their capacity to support education and, as social technologies become more pervasive, universities are under increasing pressure to appropriate them for teaching and learning. However, the educational impact of applying these Web 2.0 technologies is uncertain.

Using a Foucauldian perspective, my qualitative study explores the networked experiences of disabled students to examine how dis/ability difference is ascribed and negotiated within social networks. Data comprises 34 internet–enabled interviews with 18 participants from three English universities. Interviews incorporate the internet to expand opportunities for discussion, observation and analysis. Mobile broadband, a remote desktop viewer and screen capture have been flexibly applied together to ensure an accessible interview situation and recognise students' preferences and circumstances. Data is analysed using discourse analysis, with an attention to context framed by activity theory.

Disabled students' networked experiences are found to be complex and diverse. For a proportion, the network shifts the boundaries of disability, creating non–disabled subjectivities. For these students, the network represents the opportunity to mobilise new ways of being, building social capital and mitigating impairment.

Other participants experience the network as punitive and disabling. Disability is socio–technically ascribed by the social networking site and the networked public. Each inducts norms that constitute disability as a visible, deviant and deficit identity. In the highly normative conditions of the network, where every action is open to scrutiny, impairment is subjected to an unequal gaze that produces disabled subjectivities. For some students with unseen impairments, a social experience of disability is inducted for the first time.

As a result, students deploy diverse strategies to retain control and resist deviant status. Self–surveillance, self–discipline and self–advocacy are evoked, each involving numerous social, cognitive and technological tactics for self–determination, including disconnection. I conclude that networks function both as Technologies of the Self and as Technologies of Power. For some disabled students, the network supports 'normal' status. For others, it must be resisted as a form of social domination.

Importantly, in each instance, the network propels students towards disciplinary techniques that mask diversity, rendering disability and the possibility of disability invisible. Consequently, disability is both produced and suppressed by the network."

(Sarah Lewthwaite, Slewth Press)

TAGS

2011 • accessible interviews • Activity Theoryboundaries • building social capital • capacity to support education • cognitive tacticscontrol • deficit identity • deviance • deviant • deviant statusdifference • dis/ability • dis/ability difference • disabilitydisability and social networks • disability as a visible • disability studies • disability studies researcher • disabled students • disabled subjectivities • disabling • disconnection • discourse analysisdiversity • education researcher • educational impact • everyday student lifeFacebook • Foucauldian perspective • higher educationidentityidentity constructionidentity performance • impairment • interactive services • internet-enabled interviews • invisiblelearning and teaching • LSRI • mediated environmentsMichel Foucaultmitigating impairment • mobile broadband • networked experiences • networked publicsnew technologiesnew ways of being • non-disabled subjectivities • normal status • normative conditions • open to scrutiny • PhDPhD thesis • produced by the network • punitive • qualitative study • remote desktop • Sarah Lewthwaite • screen capture • self-advocacy • self-discipline • self-surveillance • social experience of disability • social interactionsocial media researchersocial networking servicesocial networking sitessocial networkssocial norms • social tactics • social technologies • socio-technically ascribed • student circumstancesstudent experience • student experiences of disability • student preference • students • suppressed by the network • tactictactics • technological tactics • technologies of powerthesis • unequal gaze • University of Nottingham • unseen impairments • Web 2.0 technologies • web-basedWikipediayoung peopleYouTube

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 FEBRUARY 2010

DESIGNABILITIES

"The DESIGNABILITIES blog is part of the project 'Speechless' managed by Tom Bieling and supervised by Prof. Dr. Gesche Joost, at the Design Research Lab of Deutsche Telekom Laboratories.

DESIGNABILITIES is meant to be an exchange platform, not only for the project members or partners, but also for anybody who is interested in the topic likes to share knowledge in this research field.

We like to collect, document and discuss inspiring projects, products, concepts and theories within the range of design, technology, art, architecture, philosophy and pop culture. This includes also the discussion on the progress of our own research work....

It might be links to interesting projects, publications, products or services. It might be book reviews, announcements of interesting events (e.g. conferences, lectures, presentations, releases) or just questions, hypotheses or comments in general."

(Tom Bieling)

Fig.1 2007_Tact, http://www.behance.net/Gallery/Tact/158198

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TAGS

alternative communication • architectureaugmentative communicationblindblindnessBraille • communication and audibility • communication and movement • communication and time • communication in space • communication over distance • deafness • design • design for all • design for disabilitydesign intelligencedesign research • Design Research Lab • design responsibility • Deutsche Telekom Laboratories • disabilitydisability studies • Gesche Joost • HCIinclusive designindustrial designinterface design • invisual communication • pop-cultureproduct designresearchsocial design • Speechless project • sustainabilitytactile communicationtechnologytimepiece • Tom Bieling • universal designusabilityvisual communication

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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