Attempting a plain language summary of my study as suggested in phdchat# and role modelled by @lizith, @OrgMotivation, @martin_eve and @jennacondie,and @claretCarly
Its an interesting assignment, one i have turned to my own ends. Since I am studying the use of change with emergent technologies in a youth counselling centre, and since young people appear to be changing this service from the outside in by using text (SMS) messaging as their preferred means of making contact with the organization, I provide a summary of my thesis in txt spk.
when kidz txt a helpline
wats goin on?
who & wats involvd?
wuld u? culd u? shuld u?
This thesis looks @ changes @
Youthline NZ: a crisis helpline
4 young peeps
Now for the less succinct version, where i try to be clear, but its not quite plain, I'm still attached to certain turns of phrase.
Change and the use of emergent technologies in a NZ youth counselling centre
This research focuses on the relationship between how people think about change and what they do to enact it. This is explored with reference to changing health professional practices where interpersonal interactions are increasingly mediated through computer and communication technologies. In investigating the use of new and emergent technologies for counselling the study traces how the work of counselling is reconfigured, and how relationships of those involved are negotiated.
The site of study is a not-for-profit organisation, Youthline (Auckland, NZ). When this study begins the organization is providing telephone counselling predominantly through its crisis helpline. At the start of this study there is a constant buzz of phones ringing and of counselling conversations occurring. Over the course of this study the phone rooms become almost silent. Youth still have problems, and still seek help, but increasingly this occurs silently. This study investigates what occurs as counselling moves into the silent and small space of short message service (SMS) or text-based mobile phones.
In providing a text-based helpline since December 2004, this organisation becomes a world leader in the practice. There is presently no evidence base for this practice and while this study does not address the effectiveness of such interventions, it does consider factors making the practice more, and less, viable.
The analysis is undertaken within an actor-network sensibility. Actor-network theory (ANT) emphasizes relationships held, dissolving and evolving between actors whether human or otherwise. This study investigates how the actors involved, human and otherwise, are performed in, by, and through their relationships.
Performances of change and the use of text-based counselling are presented as short narratives, slices of practice, telling of contingent relationships. Eliciting these narratives included interviews, artefact analysis and observations of practice, over the course of two years.
The performance of such stories provides partial and decentred ways of knowing. The use of the word partial is deliberate and relates to more than one meaning. The stories do not, and cannot, encompass the whole. In addition, such stories reflect the author’s own partiality. “I” write a text composed of slices, where such slices of stories sometimes sit alongside one another, but which more often intersect and which sometimes clash, reflecting the precarious reality this thesis depicts.
A tangle of constitutive relationships are shown to embed mobile phone use and texting in particular, in young people's daily lives. In analysing the tangle of contingent relations making text counselling more and less viable, the intent was never to prove text counselling as good or bad, but to know the uncertain and revisable nature of text counselling as practiced. Opening up text counselling allows us to see how this practice is shaped and might be shaped otherwise. Specific strategies for strengthening the work of this not-for-profit organisation are then able to be made explicit.
I really would appreciate some feedback on this:
1. Should the txt spk version be the first page of my thesis?
2. Is the longer version clear?
3. Any other feedback also welcomed :)