WRDTP/ESRC Network PhD studentship

Posted on 20 April 2018

ESRC Network studentship

The successful candidate will join an interdisciplinary network entitled Brexit’s Aftermaths: Contesting Insecurities across the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. He or she will work independently but alongside two other PhD students researching related projects. The students will collectively benefit from the support and expertise of supervisors in Politics, Sociology, Criminology, Geography, Media and Communication, and will have the chance to work closely with civil society and local government partners as part of the network.

Each PhD will produce new ​and complementary ​knowledge about the emerging frontiers, spaces and discourses of contestation in ​the aftermaths of ​Brexit​, with a particular focus on the role of digital technologies. ​You can read more about the linked PhDs and the network aims here, and further details of each scholarship can be found on institutional sites.

The studentship is available to outstanding students broadly interested in conducting research on the relationship on the contestation of incivility in the aftermath of Brexit, and the role of digital technologies in this contestation.

Project title: Brexit, incivility and digital contestation

Principal Supervisor: Alexandra Hall, Department of Politics, University of York (second supervisor TBC)

Project description: The circulation of narratives, imagery and statistical ‘evidence’ via digital social media (like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) is vital to the impact of any contemporary political or social campaign. Formulating powerful visual and discursive messages, and disseminating them in ways that impact media platforms, is crucial to participating in contemporary public debate. In our era of ‘post-truth’ politics and online ‘echo chambers’, the evidence shows that social media and online communities facilitate the narrowing and hardening of socio-political views, as well as the expression of hate and discrimination. But if digital worlds are significant new spaces for experiencing xeno-phobia, prejudice and harassment, they are also significant new spaces for countering these issues. Amidst rising recent concern about the use of social media and digital fora to spread and foster hard-line views, this project will generate new knowledge about the shape and form of the digital counter-strategies to insecurity, incivility and xeno-racism. How do civil society groups formulate and disseminate alternative visual and discursive messages (of acceptance, kindness, inclusivity) via digital platforms? What kind of messages succeed? And why?

Objectives

  • To describe and map the ‘new frontiers’ of anti-racist, anti-xenophobic and anti-exclusionary activity by social movements and civil society groups. How are these groups logging and countering (via digital tools or otherwise), the multi-scalar (micro)aggressions that contribute contemporary to individual and community insecurity in contemporary UK society? How can new technologies offer ways to map differently uncivil action in ways that empower those who experience (and advocate against) it?
  • To analyse the mediated discursive and visual language of emerging contemporary digital counter-narratives. What constitutes an intervention?
  • To contribute to critical and interdisciplinary conceptual reflection on the reach (and limits) of established languages of cohesion/inclusivity – e.g. cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism, solidarity – within civil society’s counter-politics. Are we seeing new discursive formulations and articulations?

 Criteria:

-          A First Class or Upper Second Class undergraduate degree or Master’s degree in a relevant social science subject is essential

-          Prior training and experience in qualitative research and/or ethnography is desirable.

-          Prior experience working with non-academic government and/or civil society groups is desirable.

-          Advanced training in Social Science Research Methods is a plus.

-          A background and/or engagement in interdisciplinary critical scholarship around activism, citizenship, and digital worlds is desirable.

-          An interest/experience in innovative social science research and methods is desirable.

Applying for the scholarship

Criteria:

  • A First Class or Upper Second Class undergraduate degree or Master’s degree in a relevant social science subject is essential
  • Prior training and experience in qualitative research and/or ethnography is desirable.
  • Prior experience working with non-academic government and/or civil society groups is desirable.
  • Advanced training in Social Science Research Methods is a plus.
  • A background and/or engagement in interdisciplinary critical scholarship is highly desirable.
  • An interest/experience in innovative social science research and methods is desirable.

How to apply:

There are two steps to the application process:

  1. Apply for either the PhD in Politics or the MA in Social Research at the University of York. The application will be reviewed and processed by the University of York.
    • If you already have training in core social sciences research methods apply here  for the PhD in Politics
    • If you do not already have training in core social sciences research methods apply here for the MA in Social Research
  2. You must apply for the scholarship separately here.

You should complete these steps sequentially as you will need to enter your University of York application number on the scholarship application form.

The deadline for applications is 5pm (UK time) on 9 May 2018.

Interviews will be held during the week commencing Monday 21 May.  

Details about the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership and eligibility criteria can be found here

Informal enquiries to alexandra.hall@york.ac.uk

 

Please note: this is a re-advertisement - previous applicants need not apply.