I tend to describe myself as a digital sociologist. I want to describe, explain and intervene in digital society, using my training as a social theorist and qualitative researcher across a range of settings. I’m digital fellow at The Sociological Review where I’ve spent three years exploring how we can use digital media to communicate sociological knowledge. I also work as a consultant, trainer and coach to apply digital sociology to help ideas circulate in this new environment without losing their scholarly value.
If you have strategic and tactical questions about how to use social media in a scholarly capacity, I’m confident I can help you answer them. I spend a lot of my time organising events and giving talks which address these issues. Here’s a list of upcoming events I’m organising, facilitating or speaking at. If you’re interested in working with me, please get in touch.
This is my online notebook. It contains ideas, speculations and reflections on topics I’ve been reading about and thinking about recently. See my Google Scholar profile for a list of my formal publications. I’ll eventually archive pre-prints on this site.
I’m currently working on six research projects:
- The Public and Their Platforms: a monograph on social media and public sociology, co-authored with Dr. Lambros Fatsis (Southampton).
- The Distracted People of Digital Capitalism: a monograph exploring ‘distraction’ as a sociological phenomenon, critiquing social media at the level of ontology, building on my postdoctoral work with the Centre for Social Ontology.
- The Future of the Human: a Centre for Social Ontology project critiquing influential notions of the post-human and trans-human. I’m co-editing a volume which is due to be released in 2020.
- Reflections on Reflexivity: an edited book with Tom Brock (MMU) drawing together various strands of work we’ve participated in for an edited collection placing academic reflexivity and lay reflexivity in the same theoretical framework.
- The Sociology of Online Harassment in Higher Education: a multi-stage project with Karen Lumsden (Loughborough) and Philip Moriarty (Nottingham).
- The Impact of Social Media: a project with Katy Jordan (Open University) investigating claims made about social media and research impact.
My past research topics have included asexuality, personhood, educational trajectories, social media use by academics, digital sociology, the challenge of ‘big data’ and social ontology. My interests can seem rather eclectic but they’re always orientated towards the same issues: the relationship between personal change and social change, as well as the role of social scientific inquiry in mediating them. My plan for the future is to focus on the digital university and what it means for this mediating function.
I’m in the process of setting up the Graphic Social Science Network. I co-organise The Theory School with Jana Bacevic. I run the Accelerated Academy with my co-founder Filip Vostal and an expanding collective. I’m helping develop a curriculum for Applied Sociology. Until recently I edited The Sociological Imagination, which will hopefully return in a different form in the not too distant future.
I’m involved with a range of publications: I’m social media associate editor of The International Journal of Social Research Methodology, an assistant editor of Big Data & Society and a member of the editorial boards of Discover Society and the Journal of Applied Social Theory. I’m a trustee of the Social Research Association. I’m a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. I’m leading the social media team for Imagine 2027. I’m a research associate at the LSE’s Public Policy Group. I’m an advisory board member for the Lifeboat Foundation. I’m an ECR forum member at The Sociological Review. I continue to participate in the Centre for Social Ontology where I was research fellow for three years following my PhD.
(The fantastic cartoon on the left was drawn by Paul Davies)