Thursday, 28 October 2010

don't quote me on that!

Subtitle: Some musings on youth/the interblags/the facebook inspired by a student journalist.

Because my research is on a sexy hot topic, I often get approached by journalists to talk about young people and the internet. More often than not, it's really just about Facebook. I find it incredibly awkward to do this kind of thing, and I'm constantly living in fear of misrepresentation or saying something stupid on the phone or live radio. Maybe I'd be more comfortable if they were asking about the deployment of Goffman's dramaturgical framework to consider identity construction in online social spaces. They never do though! Weird, right?

I guess it's part of the job though, and at least people are actually interested in my research - or the terrain my research finds itself in. Resist the ivory tower and all that stuff. Anyway, I also get approached by lots of student journalists because journalism is taught in the school I work for, so my colleagues love to fwd students to me.

I decided to record some answers to some typical questions I was asked recently, so that a) I can refer future student journalists to this helpful post; b) so I can justify the time-sink; and c) because this particular student journo actually got me thinking about some things I don't usually think about.

Read on for vague anecdotal musings and lots of "I reckon!"

Being in the navy was my other career choice. This blends my social realities. (Stock from fawkmee)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

strange audiences = greater clarity

I've done a few guest lectures in unlikely contexts this year, including in the Griffith Business School and more recently in the Queensland College of Art. The QCA one yesterday was in a web design/web studies course for photography students, so as a sociologist of youth and new media presenting a lecture on 'online identity', I was a bit worried about how I'd pitch the content. I went for the safe, 'keep it general' approach (managed to smuggle my man Goffman in) which seemed to work. It was a relatively small group but some interesting discussions came from it. It's also nice to have to articulate yourself to a new crowd with a different background. It's also nice to be reminded that the research and thinking that I'm doing is transferable and relevant, something you can easily forget when you have your thesis blinkers on.

Actual horse with real blinkers focussed on finishing her PhD (image source, c/o nancymesaaz)
Next random lecture will be at the Institute of Modern Art in November, which will be another audience yet again. Hopefully I'll be able to smuggle Erving in there too.