Herminder Kaur

Herminder Kaur

Participant in 2015
Work history ...
Study history 2012-2017 Loughborough University
Doctor of Philosophy in Digital Sociology

2011-2012 The University of Warwick
MA Social Research

2008-2011 Loughborough University
BSc Sociology First Class Honours
Publications Kaur, H. (2016) ‘'It's like they're looking inside your body or inside your brain.' Internet surveillance practices in a special school’, pp. 73-84 in Kramp, L., Carpentier, N., Hepp, A., Kilborn, R., Kunelius, R., Nieminen, H., Olsson, T., Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, P., Tomanić Trivundža, I., Tosoni, S. (Eds.) Politics, Civil Society and Participation: Media and Communications in a Transforming Environment. Bremen: edition lumière.

Kaur, H. (2017) Announcement of doctoral thesis. Disability & Society, 32 (6) 939-943.

Kaur, H., Saukko, P. & Lumsden, K. (2017) Unravelling the Rhythms of Moving in and out of the Internet: A Study Based on Video Diaries of Teenagers with Physical Disabilities. Mobilities.

Phd Projects


The uses of the internet by teenagers with a physical disability

Topic: The prevalence of internet use amongst youngsters has spawned extensive research. It has become apparent in the course of reviewing existing literature that majority of the research is repeatedly focused on providing an understanding of non-disabled youngster’s use of the internet, producing little research on those youngsters with a disability. Having recognised the paucity of research on young people with physical disabilities this study aimed to elicit their online activities and also how their parents and teaching staff construct them as young online users.
Methods: In order to research young people with physical disabilities and their use of the internet, this study identified eleven participants at a special needs school. The participants are aged between fifteen to nineteen years with physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, brittle bones, severe ichthyosis, hemiplegia and muscle wasting conditions. By using a strong ethnographic approach that includes observation the researcher undertook the role of a volunteer in the school concerned and used the methods of video diaries, face to face and online interviews to provide rich data.
Findings: Presently this thesis has finished gathering data and I have been able to identify four key themes from the research findings. The first theme reveals the distinct ways in which the participants, their parents and teaching staff define disability and construct a disabled teenager. The findings have revealed internet surveillance to be a second theme which takes place in two forms through physical observations carried out by school staff and virtual surveillance and the ways a small number of students actively engage in testing and resisting surveillance measures in the school. The third theme relates to how these participants manage and form social relationships online and finally the fourth theme relates to their online activities.


Dissertation title Journeys and Politics in and Around Digital Media: An Ethnography Study of How Teenagers with Physical Disabilities Use the Internet
Year of defence 2017

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