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What is my work about?

I’m a sociologist of technology exploring the intersection between social platforms, human agency and education in the broadest sense. I’m interested in how these platforms, as socio-technical infrastructures which enable users to interact within parameters defined by their operators, become taken for granted features of everyday life. Far from the […]

New Book: The Public and their Platforms

I’m so excited the book I’ve been working on with Lambros Fatsis over the last few years is coming out in June. It’s the result of a long conversation we’ve had about our mutual frustrations concerning ‘public sociology’ which led us to rethink what it means to be public scholars once digital platforms are ubiquitous and the public sphere has been decimated by COVID-19.

New Book: Post-Human Futures

This volume engages with post-humanist and transhumanist approaches to present an original exploration of the question of how humankind will fare in the face of artificial intelligence. With emerging technologies now widely assumed to be calling into question assumptions about human beings and their place within the world, and computational […]

Recovering the Homeric gods

I understand the point to be that existence is higher or fuller when things are acting through us rather than action arising from us, reflecting an involvement in our situation rather than a detachment from it. To reclaim the Homeric gods doesn’t necessitate polytheism but it does mean cultivating a sensitivity to the range of potentials inherent in each situation, overcoming what has gradually lost in modernity.

An Archerian reading of John Dewey and its relevance for platform socialisation

What I find particularly valuable in Dewey is his sense of how as an individual “passes from one situation to another, his world, his environment, expands or contracts” with the “knowledge and skill in one situation becomes an instrument of understanding and dealing effectively with the situations which follow” (pg 44). The nature of this experience constitutes the conditions which facilitate or frustrate the individual’s flourishing.

The role of involvement in learning how to learn

I found this reprint from Hubert Dreyfus quite inspiring to engage with again, over a decade since I read the original book. It feels more relevant than ever when considering the constraints of education during the pandemic, with the core challenge posed by Dreyfus of how much involvement can be established remotely being one which anyone teaching via Zoom will have felt over the last year.

Covid censoriousness

I wrote last month about the censoriousness which seems to have proliferated during the pandemic. It frustrates me when I see it in others but I then notice it welling up in myself, in ways connected with but irreducible to behaviours which increase transmission risks.

The two competing models of education

From John Dewey’s Experience and Education pg 17: The history of educational theory is marked by opposition between the idea that education is development from within and that it is formation from without; that it is based upon natural endowments and that education is a process of overcoming natural inclination […]

The social ontology of education

What is education? This perspective from Susan Robertson and Roger Dale, drawing on Connell’s work, resonated with me: Here, ‘learning’ is placed at the centre of anything that we might know as education, but it is seen as a collective property of the social world, and our understanding of the […]

On Wilhelm von Humboldt’s Education Ideal

It is a time-space granted for self-fulfilment. To become who one is. That’s what the university is. That’s why the university is called the university. Because it fulfils the purpose of the universe. Humbolt’s ideal is that without external pressure or demand, the individual will find within herself or himself, […]

What are digital inequalities?

I’m enjoying Massimo Ragnedda’s The Third Digital Divide because of how lucidly he lays out the theoretical issues raised by the notion of digital inequalities. This is from pg 4 of the book: From his neo-Weberian perspective these questions encompass economic, cultural and political aspects. It’s a matter of status […]