My MA in Careers Guidance: Metaphors for Social Media

Today I had my first session for the MA in Professional Practice in Careers Guidance which I am undertaking this year at Nottingham Trent University. I had a really enjoyable day meeting others on the course and hearing about the backgrounds and areas of research. As an introductory exercise we had to bring along two pictures which represented our research interests. I have put my two chosen pictures bellow.

Chess Board

Chess Board BW

Pen Friends

writting a letter

My intended research project looks at what effects social media has on the situation in which individuals develops their careers. With social media increasingly being seen as a platform for careers development I feel it is a worthwhile question to ask what particularly challenges and opportunities this creates for individuals under tacking careers development.

I have chosen two contrasting images which represent a positive and negative view of this topic.

The chess board for me can be a metaphor of a bounded arena with roles, hierarchies and sense of limits and potentially peril for the participant. This for talks of the constraints, limits and potentially injustice social media can impose on an individual. This image particularly takes it’s routes from Ulisses Mejias and his work around social media as a form of nodalism, an understanding of how netowrks constrain us.

The pen friend on the other hand is an optimistic image focusing on sharing diversity, the unexpected and new opportunity tightly held inside a fixed medium. This for me talks of the way that social media can create new opportunities for positive relationships which would not have existed outside of the medium. This perspective leans on a more connectivist framework and also takes on the work around web 2.0 from David Gauntlett.

It is the relationship between these positive and negative elements I particularly want to explore.

I feel this creates two immediate challenges for me, firstly having a broad area of exploration what would constitute original research which would allow me to explore this question (beyond a mere literature review). And secondly how to I keep an open mind to my topic seeming how I already have a hunch about what I may find?

I want to blog along with my MA so to speak so expect some more posts to follow about how my research is going. I would love some general input so if anyone has some advice on these questions do please get in contact, I would love to hear from you.

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