Wi-Fi in the Ivory Tower: Reducing Isolation of the Law PhD Student Through Social Media Networks

QUT Law Review Volume 14, Number 1, 2014 Special Edition: Wellness for Law

U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2014-11

14 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2014

See all articles by Melissa de Zwart

Melissa de Zwart

University of Adelaide - School of Law

Bernadette Richards

University of Adelaide - School of Law

Date Written: March 16, 2014

Abstract

Research students no longer need to spend long hours on campus under the gaze of their supervisors. Ubiquitous access to online databases and communication tools means that many PhD students operate in splendid isolation, away from the bustle and distractions of campus life. But this freedom may also bring with it strong feelings of isolation from academic community and peer support. The authors of this study have commenced an inquiry into whether the connectivity and interactivity of social media can provide a vital social lifeline for research students (particularly law students who work largely independently and are not frequently part of large research teams) in order to address these feelings of isolation. The role of social media in shaping academic identity and voice is also addressed. It considers a number of significant UK studies of higher degree by research students and their relevance for Australia and outlines the results of a small pilot survey conducted in an Australian law school.

Keywords: K10

JEL Classification: Wi-Fi, PhD Law Students, Social Media networks,

Suggested Citation

de Zwart, Melissa and Richards, Bernadette, Wi-Fi in the Ivory Tower: Reducing Isolation of the Law PhD Student Through Social Media Networks (March 16, 2014). QUT Law Review Volume 14, Number 1, 2014 Special Edition: Wellness for Law , U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2014-11, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2410022

Melissa De Zwart (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide - School of Law ( email )

Ligertwood Building
Adelaide 5005, South Australia SA 5005
Australia

Bernadette Richards

University of Adelaide - School of Law ( email )

Adelaide, South Australia 5005
Australia

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