[Jobposts] Computer Mediated Communication - PhD studentship (UK)

Jacqueline McNally jacqueline-linuxchix at decisions-and-designs.com.au
Thu Sep 4 06:46:59 EST 2003

Posted on Cyber-Society-Live [CSL] list.


Applications are invited for a funded PhD Research Studentship
provisionally entitled  Computer Mediated Communication and the
Culture of the Backpacker. The aim of the project is to develop an
understanding of the impact of information and communications technology
amongst backpackers or travellers, using qualitative methods (see fuller
outline below).

Applicants should send a cv, together with a 500 word synopsis which
identifies their interest in the project and the knowledge which they
can bring to bear in researching it to Carole Hansen, University of
Brighton, Faculty of MIS, Lewes Rd, Brighton, BN2 4GJ  by WEDNESDAY 10th

Further details about the project can be obtained from Lyn Pemberton
(lp22 at bton.ac.uk).

Extended version:

Research Aims

       "I am a traveller, you are a tourist, he is a tripper".
[Waterhouse, 1989, quoted in Urry, 1990]

The aim of the project is to develop an understanding of the impact of
information and communications technology amongst backpackers or
travellers, i.e. young Westerners spending a prolonged period
travelling on a low budget in less developed countries. The study
focuses on the impact of computer-mediated communication and information
tools, such as email, mobile phone and the WWW, on the experience of
being a traveller.

Specific questions to address in the project might include:

*     How do backpackers share knowledge before/during/after their
*     How do backpackers make use of new ICT's, e.g. the Web and email
via Internet café's, SMS and so on?
*     How do non-digital media involving books (particularly Lonely
Planet and similar), hostel notice boards and word of mouth fit into the
communications and information mix?
*     How have communication and information sharing between
travellers changed in last 20 years? How, if at all, do travellers form
communities of practice?
*     How has communication between travellers and people in "home"
countries changed in last 20 years?  And between travellers and
*     How do notions of identity and space change when travellers can
be in constant touch with home and other safety zones? Notions of risk,
adventure, individualism, status will be explored here.


This is a survey and literature based study, i.e. it need not be an
observational or action research project based in the target

A likely approach would be to include a comparative historical
element, based on published studies/in-depth interviews with people who
travelled 20/5 years ago and a recent group, plus diaries/journals where

Initial References

Anderskov, C. 2002. Backpacker Culture: Meaning and Identity Making
Processes in the Backpacker Culture among Backpackers in Central

Ethnography and Social Anthropology, Aarhus University.

Elsrund, Torun. 2001. Risk creation in traveling: Backpacker adventure
narration. Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 597ñ617,

Murphy, L. 2000. Exploring Social Interactions of Backpackers. Annals
of Tourism Research 28:50ñ67.

Riley, P. 1988 Road Culture of International Long-Term Budget
Travelers. Annals of Tourism Research 15:313ñ328.

Urry, J. 1990. The Tourist Gaze. London: Sage

Dr Lyn Pemberton
Principal Lecturer
School of Computing, Mathematical and Information Sciences
University of Brighton
Lewes Rd, Brighton, BN2 4GJ
East Sussex, UK.

web: http://www.it.bton.ac.uk/staff/lp22/LynP.html
email: LP22 at bton.ac.uk
tel: 01273 642476
fax: 01273 642405

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