PhD Studentship

So just over a week ago I found out that I won a three year PhD studentship with Birmingham City University (where else? I love the place!) through the Midlands3Cities consortium. I’m thrilled and very excited. Ever since I completed my MA in 2010 i’ve been desperate to get back into academia and from October 2014, I finally will be. And back at the place where it all began for me – the Birmingham School of Media.

So on to the research. I will be looking at the social media use of creative workers, and question the role of social media use within creative communities.

There is no doubt social media has pervaded (most of) our everyday lives, and I’ve read plenty about the effects it may or may not have on our ability to interact with people ‘face-to-face’, our productivity, our attention spans, our sanity. You see these ‘scary’ stories everyday but most are based on empirical research on a small number of US college students. Hardly a representative sample.

Then on the other side of the coin of my research, is the role social media plays in creative workers’ lives. Birmingham has a distinct social media ‘scene’ which has a lot of overlap with its creative sector. If fact many people who drove this social media scene in its early days are from the creative industries. So what difference does social media make to them in their everyday lives as cultural workers? Does it make any difference?

So that’s the gist of it. Watch this space…

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About Karen Patel

PhD candidate in social media and cultural work at Birmingham City University.

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