Session 1 – Identity, subjectivity and digital communities


Ghayda Aljuwaiser

Title:

Saudi Women Online Practices on Social Media Platforms: A Qualitative Multi-Method Study.

Abstract:

This study is a part of a longitudinal — ongoing – PhD research on Saudi women’s online practices across a number of social media platforms (SMP) (e.g., Twitter, Facebook and Instagram). The main focus of this thesis can be delineated as: (1) discover Saudi women’s online practices across different SMP, (2) explore the relationship between these practices and Saudi women’s identities. A qualitative multi-method approach is adopted, including online observation and semi-structured interview. In total, twelve Saudi women from different cities in Saudi Arabia (Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam) were recruited, using purposive and snowballing sampling. In this presentation I will discuss my initial findings, which indicate (1) some of the implications of the digital on the Saudi society, and (2) SMP impact on Saudi women’s identities. For example, how Saudi women’s choices of their online practices on SMP differ, as a result of the non-linear relationship between their online practices and their identities. In other words, online practices impact offline identity and vice versa; offline identity can be represented online as a part of Saudi women’s online identity. Moreover, how Saudi women’s online practices vary across SMP by appropriating platforms’ features and affordances. Furthermore, I will highlight a number of the opportunities and barriers I encountered whilst conduction online observation and semi-structured interviews data (e.g., user-researcher and women interviewing women). As this conference interested in interdisciplinary, I argue all of which results, to spotlight on socio-technological integration; how cultural context shape technology adoption. Aiming to foster a further constructive dialogue, in terms of methodological, theoretical and ethical considerations.

Bio:

Ghayda Aljuwaiser is a PhD candidate (3rd year) at Sheffield Hallam University, Cultural, Communications & Computing Research Institute (C3RI). She holds B.A and M.A in Sociology from King Abdul-Aziz University (KAU), Jeddah – Saudi Arabia. She worked as T.A for four years, in KAU, in two departments: sociology and human communication, where she thought several modules in Sociology, Communication skills and Thinking skills. Since 2013 she earned a scholarship from her work (Faculty of media and communication @ KAU) to pursue her higher education. In 2014, she started her thesis: Saudi Women’s Identities and Online Practices Across Social Media Platforms. She is co-managing the @NSMNSS account on Twitter. You can find more about her on LinkedIn: Ghayda A.J, and Academia.edu: GHAYDAALJUWAISER.


Harry Dyer

Title:

Accounting for social media platform design in youth identity performances – compromise, negotiation, and novelty.

Abstract:

Social media is increasingly growing in importance, permeating and augmenting far-reaching aspects of our daily lives and activities, and providing a growing range of experiences; not only existing as spaces to write and perform identity, but also as spaces to consume and create media and news, to buy and sell products, to organise events, and much more.

This multiplicity in social media experiences is matched by the growing diversity of platforms in the expanding social media landscape. In particular, research suggests that young people’s social media experience are increasingly diverse, rapidly evolving away from just one or two dominant platforms, instead encompassing a broad array of platforms and experiences, each with their own understanding of what exactly is ‘social’ about social media, in turn fostering different ways of acting and interacting, both online and offline.

Against this backdrop it has become increasingly important to ask how the design of these platforms affects our experiences, actions, and interactions. Importantly, this involves not only looking at how designers intend users to act and interact in these spaces, but also how these intentions are understood and parsed by users, how users negotiate their roles in these spaces, and what sacrifices they are willing to make, as well as if and how they flout these expectations, and with what effect.

This paper presents findings from a year-long study into young people’s use of social media. It reflects upon how they navigated a variety of online spaces for social action and interaction, and the manner in which they negotiated and sacrificed aspects of identity and agency on a platform-by-platform basis, informed by their own socio-cultural resources and their experiences of other online spaces. The resultant identity performances were noted as being location-and-user specific, with design and user enmeshing to produce complex, ongoing, and negotiated identities.

Bio:

Harry Dyer is a lecturer in education at the University of East Anglia. He recently joined the department after completing his PhD with them in 2016. His research is in the field of Digital Sociology looking specifically at how social media platform design affects young people’s online experiences. He is currently starting a funded research project looking into the experiences of LGBTQ+ youth online.


Rachel Katz

Title:

Grinding their Gears? Effects of ‘Grindr Tourism’ on local LGBT+ Communities in Israel.

Abstract:

As an app for gay and bisexual men to interact, Grindr has become a fixture in the landscape of what is often called “the gay community.” However, these narratives about a singular community undermine nuances of the boundaries, roles, and prejudices that exist within LGBT+ experience of space. This theoretical work argues for the merits of a spatial framework as opposed to a communities-based approach to studying Grindr within the tourism context.

The study examines how the marketing industry’s framing of “gay tourism” (termed the Gay Tourism industry) potentially has consequences for locals through particular narratives of consumption and entitlement to space. The Gay Tourism industry has promoted notions of the global cosmopolitan gay consumer, structuring a discourse of implied citizenship of foreign gay spaces. Because consumption of foreign gay space is framed as acceptable by the Gay Tourism industry, individual consumers do not question their (private) practices of consumption via Grindr. Grindr is also a site where tourist consumption plays out, as users consume the bodies and spaces of the locals through the medium of Grindr.

Grindr reconfigures gay tourism practices by allowing for a form of engagement through technology; it facilitates the feeling and habitation of local spaces and interacting with the people who make them. Yet is this experience of tourism and interaction with locals mutually productive? Or should Grindr be seen as another way in which relations are commercialized? This investigation speaks to technology’s role in the politics of power, especially as it relates to class, gender, race, and masculinity in the context of Grindr.

Grindr provides an alternative geography that creates spatial layers, overflowing boundaries, and potentially new routes of consumption within the tourist experience. Shifting theoretical perspectives on Grindr from a communities approach to a spatial approach allows for an opening up of the panorama of space coded within dichotomies of gay or heterosexual, visible or invisible, public or private.

Bio:

Rachel A. Katz is a doctoral researcher in the sociology department at the University of Manchester. She completed her master’s degree in gender studies at the University of Cambridge and received her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University/Barnard College. Her research addresses dating app technologies’ consequences for communication, identity, and everyday social practices. In her PhD she is examining how ‘Grindr tourism’ reconfigures experiences of space. For more information, please visit her academia.edu profile at https://manchester.academia.edu/RachelKatz. She can also be reached at rachel.katz@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk or @Rachel_A_Katz on twitter.


Caroline Moeckel

Title:

Characteristics of Cybercriminals Targeting Digital Banking – A Grounded Theory Analysis.

Abstract:

Cybercriminals and their crimes make for fascinating stories and are widely reported in the media. Most people, dependent on experience and knowledge (either their own, others they know or publicly reported), will have a certain perception of cybercriminals. Cybercriminals are usually members of a Russian gang, have superior coding skills, are male, between 25 and 40 years old and like fast cars. Alternatively, they could be bored teenager in their bedroom at their parent’s house – a number of varying stereotypes do exist.

Using the specific case of digital banking, the paper presented summarises the results of a grounded theory analysis of over 200 public domain documents selected from academic databases describing cybercrime attacks and the perpetrators involved. This study seeks to establish a baseline picture of characteristics of cybercriminals targeting digital banking services and its users, challenging or confirming present assumptions and perceptions about these types of criminals. Based on the qualitative analysis, five core dimensions for cybercriminals targeting digital banking are discussed: personal characteristics, community relationships, modus operandi, targets and jurisdiction factors.

The paper presented will show the results of the completed analysis, describing a multitude of characteristics and observations around these dimensions. An outlook on work to come will also be provided: the results collected to date form the starting point for the creation of a range of attacker personas representing cybercriminals specific to digital banking. Other future planned work seeks to compare perceptions brought forward by other stakeholder groups such as security specialists in banking organisations, digital banking users themselves, but also popular media, with these initial results.

Bio:

Caroline is a PhD candidate with the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway, University of London, with over 10 years experience in digital banking. Her research interests lie in the areas of information security, digital banking and user experience of secure systems. She is currently working on cybercrime attacker characterisations and personas specifically. Caroline holds a first class honours degree in Digital Media from Hochschule Darmstadt and Cork Institute of Technology and an MSc in International Business.