Monthly Archives: January 2007

Larry’s thesis

Larry Stillman balancing his PhdI couldn’t read the title of Larry’s Phd thesis from the photo he sent me (pictured left), so I thought it easiest if I found this out from his website. I knew he has been doing research on something to do with use of the Internet by community organisations. He’d talked about research about neighbourhood houses in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs forming part of his study.

Well, I went to www.webstylus.net to find out the title of his thesis (which is “Understandings of Technology in Community-Based Organisations: A Structurational Analysis (2006)”) and found a whole lot more. An entire thesis to be exact. Larry has posted his thesis (1.9MB) for any Internet denizen to read. After a few words encouraging fairplay, anyone can hit “save as” to get a copy of the document. It’s not everyday you see such trust demonstrated online.

I won’t try to make any comments about the contents of the thesis, but I have to note Larry’s sensitivity to the community where he conducted research. He comments, “reflecting on the 3+ years of work that went into this to gain an academic credential, there is of course the other side of the equation: that years of such work take place at a remove from the people you are (ethically) concerned with: what use is such distanced information from them?”

This sensitivty and openness is something I wish was more common in academia. Hang-in there Larry.