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Which clippings match 'Qualitative Study' 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
12 MARCH 2011

Design knowledge or design, communication and culture?

"The problem with any debate over design is that the intellectual resources with which the debate is typically engaged are themselves located within the field, and the competing definitions of design is the terrain over which struggles are fought and the resources used in those struggles. Each actor (or in this case, each designer) engages in these struggles and does so from a position within the field; each has a situated viewpoint and this viewpoint shapes the analysis of the field (Bourdieu, 1983). Thus, there is a need to be able to view the field afresh, from a perspective that is not associated with any specific position within the field but rather objectifies the field. This is not to argue for an 'ultimate–truth' perspective, but rather to suggest that, in order to be able to analyse the debates, one needs specific kinds of tools. Designers work with knowledge to 'do' design. When analysing the field of design the object of study has now shifted: it is not the design object but knowledge itself as an object that is being studied. For engineering a bridge, engineering knowledge is valuable; for designing a house, architectural knowledge is valuable. For analysing knowledge, a theory of knowledge itself is valuable."

(Lucila Carvalho, Andy Dong & Karl Maton, 2009, p.485)

Fig.1 Legitimation codes of specialisation Source: Maton (2007:97)

2). Carvalho, L., Dong, A. & Maton, K. (2009) 'Legitimating design: A sociology of knowledge account of the field', Design Studies 30(5): 483–502.
[An interesting yet epistemologically flawed effort. The paper seems to stumble through its attempt to occupy a neutral perspective on design knowledge. In doing so falls into the familiar trap of positioning 'creativity' and 'originality' against 'critical thinking' and 'analysis'. It attempts to advance a thesis based on the romantic notion of the individual whose process of design appears to operate independently from culture and any effort to communicate with an audience.] ––>

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TAGS

Andy Dong • architecturearchitecture designBasil Bernsteincodes of specialisationcreativity • critical realism • cultural practicescultural studiesculture medium • design and communication • design and culture • design culturesdesign knowledgedesign studiesdiffering groundsdigital mediadigital media designdisciplinary knowledgeDonald Schon • elite code • embodiment of knowledgeempirical researchenculturationengineeringengineering design • epistemic relation • fashion design • Gestaltungsgeist • habitusindividualisminterdisciplinarity • internalised codes • intersubjective • Jacob Grimm • Judith Dijkhuis • Karl Maton • Karl PopperKees Dorst • knower • knower code • knowledge • knowledge code • languages of legitimation • LCT • legitimacylegitimate knowledge • Legitimation Code Theory • legitimation codes • Lucila Carvalho • Michel FoucaultPierre Bourdieu • post-disciplinarity • post-disciplinepragmatismqualitativequalitative researchqualitative studyrealisation rulesrecognition rules • relativist code • rules • rules of the game • social practices • social relation • sociologyspecialisation • Sprachgeist

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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