received funding from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).
The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) decided in its board meeting on March 1st, 2010, to fund the stand-alone research project ”Social Networking Sites in the Surveillance Society“ (SNS3). The project is co-ordinated by Priv.-Doz. Dr. Christian Fuchs, who is executive board member of the Unified Theory of Information (UTI) Research Group. In the March board meeting of the FWF, funding for a total of 51 stand alone projects was approved. “Social Networking Networking Sites in the Surveillance Society“ is assigned to the research fields information society studies and technology assessment.
The project duration is 30 months, the funding amounts to € 267 284. The UTI members Thomas Allmer, Christian Fuchs (project co-ordinator), Verena Kreilinger, and Sebastian Sevignani form the project team.
Social networking sites (SNS) are Internet-based platforms that allow users to construct profiles, establish displayed connections with other users, and that support various forms of online communication. Examples are studiVZ, MySpace, or Facebook. Christian Fuchs: “On such platforms and other web 2.0 applications, a multiplicity of personal data, such as for example name, address, personal interests, hobby, cultural preferences, friendships and contacts, images, videos, guest book entries, forum discussions, etc, is stored, made available, assessed, and partly sold. The project analyzes the implications of social networking sites for privacy as well as the role of data surveillance on SNS”.
The overall aim of the research project “Social Networking Sites in the Surveillance Society” is to study electronic surveillance on social networking sites that are used by Austrian students.
The specific research questions are:
(1) How important are the topics data surveillance and privacy in discussions by SNS users? Which arguments do they use for arguing that they disagree or agree with surveillance on SNS?
(2) Which advantages and disadvantages of social networking platforms do Austrian students see? What is the role of surveillance and privacy in this context?
(3) Are knowledge and attitude towards surveillance and privacy of Austrian students and their information behaviour on social networking platforms connected?
Theoretical foundations of surveillance and privacy will be systematically elaborated. The research methods employed are qualitative interviewing and quantitative and qualitative surveys.
The project will be academically guided by an international advisory board that consists of renowned scholars from the research fields Internet research, surveillance studies, information and computer ethics, and information society studies: Dr. Anders Albrechtslund (Aalborg University, Denmark), Dr. David Beer (University of York, United Kingdom), Prof. Kees Boersma (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Prof. Rafael Capurro (Inernational Center for Information Ethics, Steinbeis-Transfer-Institut Information Ethics, Germany), Prof. Charles Ess (Drury University, USA), Prof. Wolfgang Hofkirchner (Vienna University of Technology, Austria), Prof. James H. Moor (Dartmouth College, USA), Dr. Michael Nagenborg (University of Tübingen, Germany), Dr. Bernd Carsten Stahl (De Monfort University, United Kingdom), Dr. William Webster (University of Stirling, Scotland).
The project is connected to the EU COST action “Living in Surveillance Societies“.
The University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland (Social Sciences/Political Geography) offers the following PhD studentship also involving surveillance issues.
Reasonably good French is required, but the PhD could be written in English.
L’Institut de Géographie de l’Université de Neuchâtel met au concours un poste d’AssistantE diplôméE à 75%
Entrée en fonction: 1er août 2010
Cahier des charges
Veuillez adresser vos offres jusqu’au 1er juin 2010 (CV + lettre de motivation) ou demandes
d’information complémentaire à M. Ola Söderström, Institut de Géographie, Université de
Neuchâtel, Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines, Espace Louis-Agassiz 1, 2000
Neuchâtel. Tél. : 032 718 17 97
Deadline for application is 1st June 2010. International applications are most welcome. Details can also be found here: http://www2.unine.ch/webdav/site/inst_geographie/shared/documents/actualites/assistant_doctorant.pdf
For more information on Geography in Neuchâtel please visit: www2.unine.ch/geographie
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any further information.