Today’s featured member profile comes courtesy of Ben Lohmeyer (aka the tweetmaster behind @tasapostgrads). Take it away Ben!
Member: Ben Lohmeyer
What are you researching?
I am researching hyper-governed young people’s experiences with neoliberal violence and their experiments with techniques of resistance. Youth is an intensively governed period, and the young people I am researching experience additional surveillance and regulation as a result of their involvement in political action, child protection or juvenile justice. These young people describe their experience of violence in modernity in ways that extend beyond the physical. They experience a crushing reality infused with symbolic, structural and systemic forms of violation. However, they do not passively accept these sanctioned forms of violence. Rather they are actively resisting and seek a violence free society.
What drew you to this topic?
Prior to starting my PhD research, I worked as a youth worker with young people around violence, peace and justice. This often included working with young people in child protection, juvenile justice and political action. Working in this space I encountered many young people’s stories of violation and their attempts to counteract or prevent violence. Undertaking research in this space was a logical extension of a desire to journey alongside young people in resisting violence.
What have been the highlights of your Postgraduate journey?
The biggest highlight of my PhD has been listening to young people stories. Freire describes stories as an important avenue for representing complexity, and challenging dominant narratives by promoting solidarity and critical thinking. Having the opportunity to hear these stories and amplify them to a wider audience is a satisfying experience.
What do you wish you had known before you started?
Everything! But seriously I have learnt so much through this process, and I wish I had known it all before starting. That would have made it heaps easier, but also kinda pointless. So… I would say I’m just glad to have had good supervisors and am grateful for everything I have learnt.
What advice would you give to others who are either just beginning, or contemplating starting post graduate study?
Make sure you have good support. Pick supervisors who are knowledgeable, but also easy to relate to and communicate with. Make sure your family/friends are on-board. Make friends with other PhD students who are encouraging and positive.
What do you do when you aren’t working on your research?
When I’m not working on my research most of my time is spent with my family. I have two hilarious little kids (a 3 year-old and a 6 month-old). We love to ride bikes, play hide and seek, and climb our rock wall. Given half a chance I’ll sneak out and for a ride on my mountain bike or head to the footy (Carn the Power!)
Thanks Ben! If you think you could answer our 6 quick questions, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.