Digital Public Sociology at #BritSoc14

It was interesting to follow the #BritSoc14 tweeting last week. The quality and quantity of the live tweeting was quite striking relative to previous conferences. Not surprisingly, it was the digital sociology sessions that provoked the most live tweeting. If Twitter is a reliable guide, which it probably isn’t, digital sociology seemed to be one of the most high profile topics at the conference. I was a bit dismayed to have missed the session I organised on Digital Public Sociology but thankfully Huw Davies recorded the talks:

I’m not sure if ‘Digital Public Sociology’ is a useful expression. But it’s how I’ve come to think of a topic that’s been one of my main interests ever since the first year of my PhD when I encountered Pierre Bourdieu’s public sociology at the same time as I was starting to see the academic relevance of blogging (which had long been a fairly directionless hobby of mine). There was a great day at Warwick, organised by Michelle Kempson and Lucy Mayblin, called the Politics of Sociology which helped connect these things in my mind. But I’m finding ‘digital public sociology’ useful because it’s the first time I’ve been able to articulate my interest in a way that doesn’t feel reductive, having formerly found myself saying rather sheepishly “er I’m interesting in sociologists blogging and tweeting and stuff”.

Edited to add: the disparity in the stats between the three talks is really striking. I hadn’t actually thought about the running order (I just added them in the order I uploaded the files) but it does seem as if Deborah’s talk is much more visible as a consequence of being first in the playlist.