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PhD Studentship - Developing Safer Online Communities for Women and Girls

Anglia Ruskin University - School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Cambridge
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £18,622 per year tax-free stipend (2023-24 rate)
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 20th December 2023
Closes: 3rd March 2024
Reference: 546477
 

About ARU:

We are ranked in the world’s top 350 institutions in the 2022 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and we are a global university transforming lives through innovative, inclusive and entrepreneurial education and research. Our research institutes and four faculties bridge scientific, technical and creative fields. We deliver impactful research which tackles pressing issues and makes a real difference to our communities. Our academic excellence has been recognised by the UK’s Higher Education funding bodies, with 16 of our research areas assessed as world-leading. In 2021, we were awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for our world-leading music therapy work.

About the Role:

Anglia Ruskin University is inviting applications for a fully-funded Vice-Chancellor’s PhD Scholarship for a period of 36 months within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences within the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.

Project Description:

The proposed PhD will be an impact-driven, multi-disciplinary project, scrutinising the threat posed by online misogynistic radicalisation within the so-called ‘manosphere,’ with focus being awarded to developing recommendations for effective interventions, policies and public awareness campaigns to address this threat.

Amid the ongoing, rapid development of online technologies globally, we are increasingly seeing online platforms and forums being exploited to spread weaponised misinformation, hate speech and extreme ideologies (Ribeiro et al. 2021). Though online radicalisation is not a new concept, the emerging threat posed by an online matrix of toxic masculine communities referred to as ‘the manosphere’ has gained significant media attention and international governmental concern. Defined as a “network of online men's communities who are against the empowerment of women and who promote anti-feminist and sexist beliefs” (Aiston, 2021), the manosphere has been widely linked to extreme misogyny, violent hate speech and numerous off-line incidents of violent crime, particularly violence against women and even mass murders (Ging, 2017).

Given the threat posed, the manosphere has been identified by Government as an urgent societal concern, with young, school aged boys particularly vulnerable (Hansard, 2023). They identify attitudes and ideologies spread via the manosphere as precipitating an increase in harassment, sexist comments and assaults in the classroom, thereby placing schools and the education system as a priority area to respond to this growing threat (Hansard, 2023). Similarly, the criminal threat posed by the manosphere has been flagged by the National Police Chief’s Council (2023) as a rapidly growing area of concern for the perpetration of violence against women and girls. Despite significant media attention and a clear identification of the potential risks posed by the manosphere and associated sub-cultures such as the incel movement; much less is known about how to effectively respond to this ever-growing and developing online sphere of harm. This project will seek to address this issue while remaining impact-driven and policy focused.

The award is subject to the successful candidate meeting the studentship Terms and Conditions which can be found on our website alongside further information about the project: https://aru.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-research/vc-phd-scholarships and enquiries can be directed to phdscholarships@aru.ac.uk

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting welfare of our staff and students and expect all staff to share this commitment.

We value diversity at ARU and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

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