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An exploration into the influence of digital communications technologies on the experience of self and identity through the case of academics

Casani, Paolo; (2024) An exploration into the influence of digital communications technologies on the experience of self and identity through the case of academics. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This research project explores whether and how digital communication technologies influence the way academics experience, express, and articulate their sense of self and identity. It engages with an academic cohort with awareness of these technologies, also examining how changes in academics’ subjective experience through digital platforms extend to how they relate to each other and the social world. In contrast with similar studies, which often use critical methods alone, this research follows principles of grounded theory and is empirically based. It gathers evidence by conducting qualitative and quantitative studies in a mixed-methods design, analysing, and interpreting the data to gather insights. While the qualitative element examines academics’ individual experiences, the quantitative scrutinises how their online identity is created, presented, and manifested in the digital medium. The mixed methods approach allows this research to compare and contrast the studies’ datasets and findings and broadly examine some of the social and cross-cultural implications. The research project also confronts the rapid advancements of a digital society and several challenges it poses to academics after COVID-19. The analysis and interpretation of the studies are distilled through the conceptual framework of experience, expression and relationship, and an interpretation of critical digital humanities that emphasises a human-centred and critical thinking approach. Tapping into academics’ relationship with digital communication technologies can help to understand the possible influence that these technologies have on the nature of who we are and, thus, how we see, understand, and conceive ourselves and the world.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: An exploration into the influence of digital communications technologies on the experience of self and identity through the case of academics
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2024. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Digital communication technologies, self and identity, academics, digital humanities, critical digital humanities, mixed methods, and information studies
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10186382
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