“Bore da! My name’s Hannah and I’m an ESRC funded PhD student at SOCLAS. Photo of Hannah

My topic is the study of Indigenous community radio and identity (re) construction in Colombia. An Anthropologist? An Ethnographer? A Sociologist? Either way I am an exceptionally fortunate human being with the possibility to do things I had only dreamed about. Unfortunately that doesn’t always make it crystal clear what it is that I am doing!

My MA thesis was on the Internet media and identity flagging in Wales, along the lines of Billig’s Banal Nationalism and my undergraduate dissertation was on the Colombian press and democratization.

There is a theme running through all of this (could it even be that elusive golden thread?) and the underlying desire is to work in social research (media activism), whether here or abroad. I am therefore delighted to have landed a funded internship through the ESRC with the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) Social Research Division. I will be spending three months in Cardiff during the summer, ‘filling the evidence gaps’ that were highlighted in the Delivering a Digital Wales policy document.

Essentially this means conducting a multifaceted research project into the social and economic benefits of digital inclusion for individuals, businesses and wider society, challenging some of the underlying assumptions of policy intervention in these areas, making recommendations for a framework of analysis in this field and present and discussing my findings with the policy makers themselves. After we discussed my research interests and goals, I was told that I could participate as though I were a full-fledged member of the research division and therefore gain vital experience into the workings of such organisations. With Cardiff for the summer and Colombian fieldwork looming on the horizon, this is going to be an exciting year!”

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