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Making gender trouble: a creative and participatory research project with neurodiverse teen gamers

Timperley, Victoria 2020. Making gender trouble: a creative and participatory research project with neurodiverse teen gamers. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The digital gaming practices of children and young people are often characterised by media discourses permeated with fear and anxiety. Linked to health discourses of addiction and exposure to inappropriate content (sex and violence); there is little research exploring the positive affordances of digital gaming relations. Additionally, the lives and experiences of disabled young people are often absent from research encounters where disability is not the main focus. In response, this thesis explores the cyber-social relations of neuro-diverse teen gamers. Prioritising the affirmative aspects of gaming, an evolving research design generated multi�modal data with young people in two special schools and one mainstream school in South Wales. The case studies that feature in this thesis are drawn from a larger multi-phase project and feature 10 participants (aged 13 -18 years) across two sites. As each chapter progressively illustrates, the young people in this thesis are often positioned at the intersection of competing and contradictory discourses, with girls and trans young people, in particular, located firmly within the territory of gender trouble. Staying with this trouble, we explored the generative possibilities of creative, arts-based methods and youth activism in participatory research. Using a feminist-new-materialist onto-epistemological approach this thesis analyses gender as a relationally produced process, rather than an identity trait or characteristic. Core concepts of wilding, affect, becoming and assemblage are explored in relation to the capacities of creative, collaborative and arts-based method-ing for telling different, wilder stories about gaming, gender and disabilities. I argue that working with generative and affirmative approaches can provide ethical ways to explore sensitive topics while opening up the possibilities for new and complex understandings of gender relations in neuro�diverse teen gamer’s lives.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 September 2021
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2021 09:41

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