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  Women and Relationships to the Internet: A PhD Research Project

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  Documents for participants

Call for Participants

What is the project about?

The project is trying to find out how the internet fits into women's everyday lives. It's looking at what websites and technologies are used, in what places and using what machines. Particularly it's looking at:

  • What women do with the internet day-to-day
  • How different websites and other things like email are used together
  • The place computers and the internet have in the home
  • What's special about using the internet as a woman

Who is running it?

The project is being conducted by a research student called Louise Madden as part of her thesis. It's being run through Cardiff School of Social sciences, and funded by the Economic and social research council (ESRC). You can look at her webpage here, to find out a bit about other projects she's worked on and some of her ideas about the internet.

Could I volunteer?

The project is currently looking for women to take part. It should only take a few hours spread over a month or so. At the moment we're looking for women in in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties who regularly use the new generation of interactive technologies, such as blogs, wikis, photos and film swapping sites, webcams or online games. If you are interested in volunteering for the project, please send an email to including a brief message about how you use the internet.

What would I be asked to do?

The research is in three parts. The first is an audio-diary of your internet use. It involves carrying a small recorder around for a few days, and making a recording every time you use the internet. The second part is a home visit by the researcher, where she will interview you and ask to look around where you usually use the internet. The whole visit should take about two hours. The final part is an interview online, using an instant messenger program. Later, the researcher will look at some of the websites you've mentioned and will ask to archive pages that you've contributed to such as blogs, profile pages or forum posts. All these things will be looked at together to build up a picture of how you use the internet.

What will happen when I agree to take part?

first of all the researcher will telephone you to talk over the project. She'll explain that you can leave the project any time you like, decide to skip any part of it, or ask for any material that's already been recorded to be removed from the archive. We'll also talk about anonymity, and explain that your name and everything that might identify you will be removed from the data before it's used. Then we'll talk about times that are convenient for you to take part - you'll always get to choose dates and times that are handy for you, and you can ask any questions you want about what the study is trying to find out. We'll talk over how the project will start, with the audio-diary, with the interview following in the next week or so.

Contact details:

Please feel free to contact Louise at any point during the project to ask questions or add anything you'd forgotten about to your data!



Post: c/o Matt Williams
Cardiff University School of Social Sciences
Glamorgan Building King Edward VII Avenue
CF10 3WT


Valerie Walkerdine::

Matthew Williams::

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