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My Thesis Topic

MA European Studies

Hi everyone,

I thought I would quickly share my thesis topic with you, so you can get an idea of just one of the directions studying MA European Studies can take you in!

I've decided to use big data from Twitter to study the effects of Brexit and Covid-19 on British identity (I know, cheery topics, right!)

"But the UK left the EU... how does this count as 'European Studies!?", I hear you ask. Well the answer is simple - European Studies is not just about hte EU but about the whole continent of Europe, and although the UK is an island, it is still part of the European continent. Also, Brexit has greatly affected the EU, so it's always an interesting thing to study. Covid-19 affected... well, the whole world, but the way many British people responed to restrictions seemed to be linked to their feelings about Brexit, and what it means to be British. So I wanted to explore this in more detail as, from my perspective, my home country has gone absolutely crazy 🤯

Learning about identity theories was my favourite part of the European Studies course, so it made sense for me to do a theis that somehow looked at identity, and go in a more ethnographic direction.

I'm very lucky to a have a supervisor who is paricularly interested in digital ethnography and studying the online world of social media too, so I have some great support from her!

So far, I'm really enjoying analysing big data and working with mixed methodology. I have been downloading tweets and using a programme to code them into different categories, to get an overall feel of the organic way that people are talking about these issues online. I have then used this information, such as popular hashtags that people use to talk about the topisc, to create and distribute open-ended surveys to get more qualitative and descriptive answers 📝

Now I have to linguistically analyse these answers to really try and understand some of the British public's points of view. And hopefully I'll reach some meaningful conclusions 🤞

This was just a super-quick introduction to my topic - if you would like to know more please feel free to send me a message!