It occured to me recently that I don’t often write directly about my doctoral research here. I’ve just had to write a quick description for a seminar I’m giving to the institution’s post-grad association next week. So here’s the short version of what-the-bloody-hell-have-I-been-doing-for-3-years;
Reconsidering the links between digital play, social identity and ICT careers through biographical research conducted with IT professionals and students.
Since the late 1990s, feminist studies of videogame culture have suggested that games provide a source of informal learning about technology, and that the perceived masculinity of the medium means that this benefit goes mainly to boys. Similar claims have been made more recently about the de-facto “whiteness” of geek and gamer cultures, and how this might have an effect on the make-up of the IT professions in terms of ethnicity and social class. My research interrogates this “techno-acculturation” theory of games. Through an exploration of the biographies of IT students and professionals, I explore both the material and attitudinal dimensions of socialisation into IT careers, with a special emphasis on questioning the role of gaming in this informal learning process.
There should probably be one more sentence hinting at findings but I’m still in the process of working out which ones are most important.