Amber is doctoral researcher working towards a PhD that focuses on Digital Identities – specifically on the lived experiences of women working in the communications industries, who are negotiating boundaries between professional and personal lives online. The study looks at issues of self-representation, performativity, gender bias in online spaces and the unique challenges of being an older ‘digital immigrant’. In late 2014, this study is in its data collection stage, with a number of phenomenological interventions and interviews with 10 women working in the advertising and promotion industries, followed up with these participants maintaining ‘digital diaries’ over a period of 4 weeks. The study concludes with further interviews and an online forum where the participants can share their reflections on the process.
Amber plans to take the theme of Digital Identities further, with a revisit to a pilot study of young male and female teens (12 and 13 year olds) and their expressions of identity through the use of their smartphones. This fascinating small scale project provided some early clues and insight into some gender-specific relationships and emotional investment into this ubiquitous hand-held digital technology. Plans are afoot to release a much larger study along these lines.
PROMOTIONAL CULTURES & COMMUNICATION CENTRE
Faculty of Media & Communication, Bournemouth University