Academics who tweet: "messy" identities in academia

Kylie Budge, Narelle Lemon, Megan Jane McPherson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the growing use of Twitter in academic and artist practices. The authors explore commonalities, overlaps and differences within the reflections on the initial and ongoing motivations, usage and learnings the authors have encountered whilst immersed in this environment.
Design/methodology/approach – The authors locate the particular inquiry by drawing on the literature surrounding digital identities, academic literacies and digital scholarship. Departing from other studies, the focus is on a narrative inquiry of the lived experiences as academics and as artists using Twitter.
Findings – Academics use of Twitter plays a distinctly social role enabling communication that connects, and fostering accessible and approachable acts. It enables a space for challenging norms of academic ways of being and behaving. In addition, the authors draw conclusions about the “messiness” of the interconnected space that incorporates multiple identities, and highlight the risk
taking the authors associate with using Twitter.
Research limitations/implications – Academic practice is ever changing in the contemporary university. This initial study of academic and artist practices and the use of Twitter suggests future developments including participants using similar questions to elicit notions of practice to engage in a deeper understanding of motivations and behaviours.
Practical implications – In using social media tools such as Twitter, individual academics and their practices are modified; the impact of this practice is visible.
Originality/value – The authors contribute to emerging discussions and understandings about academics, social media and identity. The authors argue that by participating in the use of Twitter, the authors are part of the collective process of challenging what it means to be an academic and artist.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210 - 221
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Higher Education
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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