Ms Caroline Ruth Keen

BA, Auckland; MA (Honours), Auckland; PGDipBusAdmin (Distinction), Massey

Profile image
Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


Caroline has a background in commercial research and marketing and has worked in a number of marketing, and strategic business planning roles in New Zealand, Australia and the UK. She has specific consulting experience among stakeholders establishing child pornography filtering systems. More recently, she has taught in both business and social science fields at several New Zealand tertiary institutions, and been contracted to carry out a number of academic research projects.

Caroline is now nearing completion of her PhD in Sociology at the University of Auckland. Her research project examines how regulation of internet content has been negotiated between state, private and civil actors, and whose interests were represented in policy outcomes. More specifically, this research project examined recent attempts by governments in Australia and the UK to regulate internet content, through pursuing policies that would force ISPs to block access to illegal content, or content deemed harmful to children.

A key part of this research was to examine how ‘childhood’ was perceived across the policy landscape, and how this impacted emerging policies. This research found that while these nation-states were unsuccessful in regulating private actors, it placed increasing emphasis on individual internet users, families and children to manage internet media risks, a position that has obvious benefits to private actors who provide internet access and content. However, for those that fail or are unable to manage these risks, there is increased surveillance and discipline, a key consequence of which is the increasing regulation of children's internet activities.

This research is both timely and relevant as children now constitute over a third of internet users, raising questions around current policy approaches adopted by states and private organisations, and the need for renewed attention by both governments and private corporations on minimising internet risks.


Research | Current

Caroline’s research interests include:

-       Social impacts of technology 

-       Children, online risks and internet safety

-       Childhood Sociology

-       Internet media and communications regulation

-       Social impacts of wearable technology in consumer and enterprise markets


University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship

Master of Arts: First Class Honours in Anthropology

Post Graduate Diploma in Business and Administration: Distinction in Management


Areas of expertise

Grounded Theory Methods (GTM), Qualitative Research, Elite and Expert Qualitative Interviewing, Thematic Analysis, Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis (CAQDAS) , E-Learning and content development.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • van Gelderen, M., Sayers, J., & Keen, C. R. (2008). Home-based internet businesses as drivers of variety. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 15 (1), 162-177. 10.1108/14626000810850900
  • Keen, C. R., & Sayers, J. (2005). Smart, fast, small and virtual: Innovative home-based Internet businesses (HBIB) in New Zealand. In J. G. Sayers, N. Monin (Eds.) The Global Garage: Home-based Business in New Zealand (pp. 185-204). Southbank, Vic.: Thomson, Dunmore Press.