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Which clippings match 'Disability And Social Networks' keyword pg.1 of 1
21 JANUARY 2013

Hyper-connectivity is transforming the nature of identity

"Social networks such as Facebook and on–line gaming are changing people's view of who they are and their place in the world, according to a report for the government's chief scientist. The report, published by Prof Sir John Beddington, says that traditional ideas of identity will be less meaningful. ... It states that the changing nature of identities will have substantial implications for what is meant by communities and by social integration.

The study shows that traditional elements that shape a person's identity, such as their religion, ethnicity, job and age are less important than they once were. Instead, particularly among younger people, their view of themselves is shaped increasingly by on–line interactions of social networks and on online role playing games.

The study found that far from creating superficial or fantasy identities that some critics suggest, in many cases it allowed people to escape the preconceptions of those immediately around them and find their 'true' identity. This is especially true of disabled people who told researchers that online gaming enabled them to socialise on an equal footing with others."

(Pallab Ghosh, 21 January 2013, BBC News)



2013civic engagementcountry of origincultural identitycyberpsychologyDepartment for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) • differently enabled • digital identitydisability and social networksethnicityflash mobs • Future Identities (report) • Government Office for Sciences Foresight • greater connectivity • hyper-connectivity • hyperconnectedidentity constructionidentity performanceinterlinked dataInternet • John Beddington • LARPoccupational identitiesonline and real world identitiesonline interactions • Pallab Ghosh • personal life • place in the world • religious identity • role playing gamessmart mobssmart phonesocial changesocial cohesion • social exclusion • social identity • social integration • social networking sitessocial networkstraditional society • work identities • workplace


Simon Perkins
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)


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


Simon Perkins

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