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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

Supporting village community through connected situated displays

Taylor, Nicholas Craig January 2011 (has links)
This thesis explores the use of public digital situated displays to support a sense of community in a rural village by sharing community-generated content, such as material that promotes a shared history or awareness of current events. Situated displays are particularly suited to use in a central community space where residents engage with each other, and can be designed as simple artefacts that do not exclude those uncomfortable with technology. In designing community displays) it is important to harness local knowledge to design technologies that are relevant to the deployment environment and sensitive to local issues and needs. For this reason, the approach described in this thesis involves community members in a design process centred on the iterative development of prototype displays that are deployed in the wild for extended periods of time. Observation of interaction with the displays and feedback collected through meetings, attendance at public events and others means is used to gradually improve prototypes to meet the needs of the community. This has been achieved through work in Wray, a rural village in North West England that has volunteered to serve as a testbed for computing research. Work in the village over a period of over four years has found that public situated displays of photos and notices can support community members old and new as well as visitors, while the iterative approach has proved to be a valuable means of engaging the community.

A phenomenological study giving voice to the 11-16 year old senior school populations' experience of 'cyberbullying' via the social media site, Facebook™ within Bath and North East Somerset

Selby, Simon January 2017 (has links)
This study focuses on the experiences of the 11-16 year old school population of Bath and North East Somerset, situated in the South West of England, and specifically gives voice to the victims within that sample who have been Cyberbullied through the social media site Facebook. The objectives were: to discover what are the lived experiences of the 11-16 year old schoolchildren from the Bath and North East Somerset area who have been cyberbullied through the Facebook social media website? And, from their stories, what construct(s) emerges of the nature of cyberbullying within these parameters? To achieve this a collaboration was established between the Avon & Somerset Constabulary, Bath and North East Somerset District Council, Bath Spa University and 7 local schools. A phenomenological lifeworld approach was employed, utilizing a questionnaire with open-ended questions, analysed with a phenomenological method. Descriptive statistics were then also included, where appropriate, to support and contextualise the findings. 4,706 questionnaires were distributed and 2,495 (1,152 male/1,343 female) students responded, representing a return rate of 53.02%. Within this 340 reported having been victims of cyberbullying and 198 (58.24%) identified that their ‘Cyberbullying’ had occurred through the Facebook social media site, justifying a more defined research focus. In this study the victimization rate was 13.63%, while past research (in the 11-16 age group) record variations from 24% to 45%, potentially resulting from misunderstanding of what constitutes ‘cyberbullying’. Indeed, this study commenced by confirming the potential for such confusion and the inherent danger to data integrity if the concept is not clearly defined. From this strong foundation the study questions were then examined through the following emergent themed areas: 1. Initial Reaction. 2. Response after reflection. 3. Resultant feelings. 4. Cause. 5. Prevention. These findings were then examined and positioned within the conceptual framework of Kohlberg’s stages of moral development model (1958) and the findings indicated that the conventional level, (stages 3 and 4) was the main cognitive process underpinning cyberbullying interactions within this 11-16 year old sample. Additional examination and positioning was then also achieved within an adapted conceptual framework of Goffman’s Presentation of Self in Everyday Life model (1959), where social interactions are viewed as performances. Through this approach the finding indicated that the actor’s desired perception from the audience became the main battleground and active factor in the commissioning of cyberbullying. Recommendations included presenting the case for a universally acceptable definition, encompassing legal wording; thereby standardising understanding of the phenomenon, supporting data integrity and enabling comparability across the field of study. Other recommendations included improved social media provider anti-cyberbullying systems that are robust, responsive and fit for purpose. Together with acknowledging the need for holistic approaches where all relevant parties engage in cyberbullying safeguarding.

Reconstruction of causal networks through discrete optimisation

Fyson, Nicholas Richard Cedric January 2012 (has links)
The study of complex networks is at the heart of an increasing range of scien- tific fields, from microbiology to sociology. This abstract view of structure in sys- tems preserves only the essential information, allowing scientists to tackle otherwise intractable problems. To examine the network underlying a system is key to under- standing, and an increasing array of tools are available to analyse networks. But in many cases the ground truth structure is not a priori known, and instead must be in- ferred. We approach the problem of reconstructing networks from a particular type of data, the traces left by markers diffusing through an underlying network. We first present work based on the novel NETCOVER algorithm, which reduces the task of network inference to the well-known Set Covering problem. We verify the algorithm first on synthetic data, before applying it to data gathered from the social networking site Twitter. We then outline three extensions to the basic algorithm, demonstrating how some of its original assumptions may be relaxed. We first show that reconstruction can be performed even in the presence of noise, and then when the system in question is not completely closed. Finally we relax the assumption of stationary markers, showing that when markers evolve as they propagate, this extra . information can be used to achieve improved reconstructions. We demonstrate the algorithm on data gathered from the international news media. In the final chapter we build on the NETINF algorithm, independently developed by another group, first comparing its performance to our own, before outlining an extension. We introduce explicit modelling of additive noise, where a hidden 'supern- ode' is responsible for multiple seedings into the observed network. We show that this explicit modelling of marker injection improves performance. Finally, we outline the possible future directions for research.

Social identity development through blogging

Patchareeporn Pluempavarn, Niki Panteli January 2013 (has links)
Blogs, one of the latest emerging tools for communication, are gaining widespread popularity and becoming increasingly common. More and more people blog and use blogs as a way to share information about themselves with other participants or viewers. By doing so, they create their so-called 'virtual self. 810g was chosen to be the main theme of this study not only because of its increase in user number but also its uniqueness that differentiates it from other types of online communication. This study explores social identities in blogging communities. It argues that, though the use of Slogs has been studied, emphasis has remained primarily on its types and features, rather than on how it can create social identities. This research investigates how social identity is formed and developed within blogging communities, how people present themselves in virtual communities by using blogs and how the social identity of individual bloggers influences and is being influenced by the blogging community. In addition, this study also investigates how braggers' identities have changed over time. The result shows how individual members present their identities through different roles and how these roles change over time. These issues are explored in selected bragging sites by using participant observation as the main method of data collection, and allowing the researcher to gain rich data. The collected data includes logs based on observations, together with 40 bloggers' interviews. This resulted in an extensive amount of data being gathered, which was analysed, categorised, interpreted, and summarised in relation to the framework of the study. The findings from this interpretive work were used to develop the understanding needed to answer the research questions in the form of confirming, expanding and strengthening the conceptual framework of the study. In addition, analysis reveals that social identities are created in blogging communities while bloggers adopted different types of social roles within online communities, and these have an effect on members as well as on the community in general.

Does social networking have the potential to develop active citizenship in young adults

Power, Andrew January 2013 (has links)
This thesis looked at how young people are using social networking technologies in the context of active citizenship; how society and younger citizens in particular, are organising themselves in the context of new technologies such as social networking. The thesis built upon existing ideas from the literature in these areas and how a sample of younger citizens were putting social networking technologies to work; forming groups and governing their activities. It looked to a number of individuals and organisations from the political and not-for-profit sectors to get their perspective on the question posed. A typology of networks was developed and explored and an understanding of its connection with active citizenship explored with a sample of those engaged in it. Focus groups with young citizens demonstrated that their engagement with technology and level of connectivity was high. The balance between reach of connectivity and richness of content was shown to be key, both to the popularity of a given social network and the nature of its service. Social networking was shown to be an ideal tool for organising and promoting a wide range of activities and ventures, and in the view of the participants, is supporting and developing active citizenship. Social networks were seen to have the potential to develop active citizenship in part through the awareness building of issues and a primary source of customisable news and information. Young citizens felt empowered to comment, respond, organise or debate on the same platform that is delivering the news. Social networks provided both their primary view of the world and their primary means of interacting with it. The networking building inherent in social networks meant that users felt part of a bigger community which they often feel responsible for contributing to and caring about.

Understanding the structure and role of academics' ego-networks on social networking sites

Jordan, Katy January 2017 (has links)
Academic social networking sites (SNS) seek to bring the benefits of online networking to an academic audience. Currently, the two largest sites are Academia.edu and ResearchGate. The ability to make connections to others is a defining affordance of SNS, but what are the characteristics of the network structures being facilitated by academic SNS, and how does this relate to their professional use by academics? This study addressed this question through mixed methods social network analysis. First, an online survey was conducted to gain contextual data and recruit participants (n = 528). Second, ego-networks were drawn up for a sub-sample of 55 academics (reflecting a range of job positions and disciplines). Ego-networks were sampled from an academic SNS and Twitter for each participant. Third, co-interpretive interviews were held with 18 participants, to understand the significance of the structures and how the networks were constructed. Academic SNS networks were smaller and more highly clustered; Twitter networks were larger and more diffuse. Communities within networks are more frequently defined by institutions and research interests on academic SNS, compared to research topics and personal interests on Twitter. Emerging themes link network structure to differences in how academics conceptualise and use the sites. Academic SNS are regarded as a more formal academic identity, akin to a business card, or used as a personal repository. Twitter is viewed as a space where personal and professional are mixed, similar to a conference coffee break. Academic SNS replicate existing professional connections, Twitter reinforces existing professional relationships and fosters novel connections. Several strategies underpinning academics’ use of the sites were identified, including: circumventing institutional constraints; extending academic space; finding a niche; promotion and impact; and academic freedom. These themes also provide a bridge between academic identity development online and formal academic identity and institutional roles.

Could sharing gratitude on Facebook improve the well-being of young people?

Horner, Rebecca January 2016 (has links)
The first chapter presents a systematic review of the literature around expressing gratitude and Facebook use and the impact of these behaviours on the well-being of young people. Studies were included if they evaluated the effects of Facebook use, keeping a gratitude log or sharing gratitude (online or otherwise) on measures of well-being. The review searched three electronic databases for peer-reviewed journal articles from 1995 onwards. No reports were found concerning the specific intervention of sharing of gratitude on Facebook. A total of seven Facebook interventions and 14 gratitude interventions were included. The analysis of these 21 interventions showed that overall, Facebook usage appears to have a negative impact on participants’ well-being whilst gratitude interventions appear to have a positive impact on well-being. Based on these findings it is concluded that now is a good time to begin a new program of research exploring effect of sharing gratitude on Facebook. The empirical paper examined the effectiveness of a Facebook based gratitude intervention to promote well-being in young people aged 16-18 (N = 70). Participants completed online questionnaire measures pre and post intervention as well as at a six-week follow up. Participants posted grateful or neutral learning status update to Facebook daily for ten consecutive college days. ANOVAs revealed no significant effect of condition. Moderation analysis found that the intervention has a positive impact on well-being but only for individuals who perceived peer reactions to be positive. This tentatively suggests that simply expressing gratefulness is not enough to boost well-being, expressed gratitude needs to be positively acknowledged by others. The findings extend the evidence base in the fields of post-16 well-being, Facebook use and gratitude sharing.

Post-revolutionary Tunisia : the Islamist construction of 'woman' on Facebook

Zouabi, Manel January 2017 (has links)
This thesis examines the construction of Tunisian woman on post-revolutionary Islamist Facebook pages. Much research on the digital politics of ‘the Arab Spring’ has been conducted. It has significantly emphasised the libratory function of social media, especially in regard to the mobilisation of people into street rebellion. Yet, there has been scant research into the more subtle discursive power of online communication in shifting normative cultural understandings. In this project, and after discussing the political history of Islamism in Tunisia and then outlining the way Facebook became a crucial location for political persuasion, utilised by groups of Islamists, I assess a significant number of Islamist Facebook pages. I ask: ‘How do Islamists construe women, what strategies are used to enable Islamist ideas on women to become culturally acceptable? In order to address these questions I carefully selected representative posts dealing with the particular aspects of women’s dress code, moral conduct, and feminist activists, which I identified in my critical study of the political history of Islamism. I deploy critical discourse analysis to offer a small-scale, detailed analysis of the re-inscription of women into the Islamist discourse. My analysis unveils that the post-revolutionary Islamist discourse about women still draws widely on the pre-revolutionary Islamist agenda. Woman is still essentialised in, and conceptualised through, the mega religious, cultural, and political discourse of resistance. She is, consequently, strictly polarized into the veiled versus the unveiled, the pious versus the fallen, and the Arab Muslim versus the Westernised francophone. I assert that this deconstructive exposure not only contributes to underdeveloped scholarship on North African and post ‘Arab Spring’ studies in relation to women, politicised religious discourses, and social media, but also offers tools with which to challenge Islamist ideas.

The story of Occupy Wall Street : narratives of politics and identity on Twitter

Vrikki, Photini January 2017 (has links)
This thesis focuses on the Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS), and argues that a narrative analysis of this movement’s social media stories can shed light into how contemporary social movements and their supporters endeavour to politically negotiate and present themselves to the world on Twitter. Social media narratives are important elements surrounding the discourses of social movements. However, despite the resurgent interest in the ways in which social media are used strategically by activists to organise their networks, and in the ways in which their communities use these platforms as windows to express their shared sentiments, little of these approaches focus on the narratives constructed on social media networks, or on the stories told by users of social media networks in response to social movements. Instead, quantitative analysis, sentiment analysis, organisation analysis, and network analysis have governed social movement studies of Twitter, focusing on metric aspects of movements and their organisation. Moving beyond these frameworks, this thesis deploys the original analytical framework of Network Thematic Analysis (NTA) as a six-step analytical process, in order to look into the elements—stories, micro-narratives, and narratives—constructing the big story of OWS on Twitter. Network analysis of Twitter communication unveils the dynamics of the stories told about OWS, and reveals the dominant narratives of the movement’s story on Twitter. This thesis advances our knowledge about OWS’ political and identity narratives, stimulates new discussions about social media’s role in contemporary social movements, and provides a springboard for new analyses of social movements.

Exploring adolescents' use of social networking sites and their perceptions of how this can influence their peer relationships

Isbister, Joseph January 2013 (has links)
Social networking site (SNS) use has gathered a truly global momentum. As a cohort whose development has coincided with these changes, adolescents tend to be heavy users of this technology. Yet this 'virtual context' of their social lives is relatively new and occurs between peers (away from the supervision of adults), making it a poorly understand area. Existing research is unable to clarify how adolescents are engaging with SNSs and the impact this is having on their social lives. This study adopted a two-phased, mixed method approach, in order to explore adolescents' use of SNSs and their perceptions of how this can influence their peer relations. During Phase 1, a total of two-hundred and forty three adolescents completed questionnaires. During Phase 2, a further twenty-one adolescents completed in-depth semi-structured interviews. Each phase included both SNS users and non-users. The quantitative data were mainly analysed using descriptive statistics and Chi-Square Analyses. The qualitative data were analysed using a thematic analysis. The quantitative results showed that adolescents tend to be experienced, mobile and frequent users of SNSs. SNS used was linked to their perceived prominence within a social setting and the number of contacts on line they had. However, the number of their real-life friends was more resistant to patterns of SNS use. The qualitative results showed that the influence of SNSs was mixed and multi-faceted. SNSs were perceived to be responsible for both subtle and, in some cases, dramatic ways. SNSs are exacerbating existing dynamics amongst adolescents and introducing new dynamics altogether. The results have important implications for existing policies and regulations, challenging stakeholders to find pragmatic and creative approaches which can help young people utilise the benefits of SNSs, while also reducing the risks. Stake holders need to work together in order to make this possible. There are opportunities for Educational Psychologists at a child/school/service level to make a unique contribution towards achieving this.

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