Month: May 2017

First Cambridge summer school in social theory University of Cambridge, Department of Sociology, 4-6 September 2017 Conveners: Jana Bacevic (University of Cambridge) and Mark Carrigan (The Sociological Review) Passionate about social theory? Want to learn more about how it is created? Interested in seeing theory being made, rather than just read or applied? Apply to […]

Call for Papers – Edited Collection Online Othering: Exploring the Dark Side of the Web Editors: Dr Karen Lumsden (Loughborough University) and Dr Emily Harmer (University of Liverpool) The Internet plays a vital role in many aspects of our social, political and cultural lives and in the early days of its expansion there was much […]

In the last few years, I’ve been intrigued by how changes in student housing track a broader transformation of higher education. The obvious change in the UK has been in student numbers, with major implications for the demographics of cities with major universities: Between 1994 and 2012 the number of undergraduates in Britain grew by […]

There’s an intriguing argument in The Mediated Construction of Social Reality, by Nick Couldry and Andreas Hepp, concerning our dependence upon digital media and how we respond to its failure. From loc 5527: We feel the costs viscerally: when ‘our’ media break down –we lose internet connection, our password stops working, we are unable to […]

An exercise in free-writing, undertaken at a writing workshop at the Becoming Academic conference at the University of Sussex. I write to eliminate the clutter in my head, the accumulated debris which emerges within me as I make my way through the world, trying to understand my experiences as I go. If I am free […]

That’s the question I’ve been asking myself when reading through two books by Nick Couldry in which he develops a materialist phenomenological approach to understanding social reality. The first is The Mediated Construction of Social Reality (with Andreas Hepp) and the second is Media, Society, World. It’s in the latter book that he considers the […]

#SocMedHE17: Making an impact Tuesday 19th December 2017 at Sheffield Hallam University The third social media for learning in HE conference: #SocMedHE17: Making an impact,  considers the role that social media – when used in formal and informal learning contexts – can play in addressing the major challenges currently being faced by Higher Education. This conference is […]

Do you want your research to produce more impact? Many researchers are excited about the potential social media offers for generating impact but with 500 million tweets per day, 3 million blog posts per day and over a billion websites they face an obvious challenge: how do you ensure you are heard above the din? […]

by Nick Fox and Marguerite Regan For the past 18 months, the British Sociological Association (BSA) group Sociologists outside Academia (SOA) has been focusing on the potential for careers working as applied or practical sociologists, beyond the traditional remits of academia.  Sociology is essential not only for understanding the big problems that face society, but […]

Which character from the Irvine Welsh novels has the most depth? While Francis Begbie might have counted as the most vivid, particularly as he was brought to life in Robert Carlyle’s unforgettable performance, I’d be surprised if anyone thought of him as the deepest. Yet that’s the impression one is left with after reading Irvine Welsh’s […]

From The Mediated Construction of Reality, by Nick Couldry and Andreas Hepp, loc 2896-2912: While there are only so many bodies of a certain size that can fit into a finite space –there are certain natural limits to spatial packing, beyond which the attempt to pack just has to stop (otherwise, bodies get crushed) –the […]

Special Issue of Chinese Journal of Communication: The Platformization of Chinese Society Extended Abstract Submission Deadline: July 1, 2017 Full Paper Submission deadline: February 28, 2018 Guest Editors: Jeroen de Kloet, Thomas Poell, Zeng Guohua Full text: http://jeroendekloet.nl/the-platformization-of-chinese-society/ We are currently witnessing a fast process of platformization of Chinese society. Social media, as well as […]

In The Mediated Construction of Social Reality, Nick Couldry and Andreas Hepp take issue with the primacy of face-to-face interaction that has so often been assumed within social thought. Our embodied interaction is taken to be primary, often assumed to be unmediated, with the mediation of interaction through technology seen as additional to it. From loc […]

How exciting does this look? Call for Papers: Special Issue on Computational Propaganda and Political Big Data We welcome manuscripts from scholars across the social and computer sciences, and are particularly interested in research from teams of authors from both domains of inquiry. Please submit your papers online to our web-based manuscript submission and peer-review […]

A disturbing scenario from John Urry’s What is the Future? From loc 2996-3045: The final scenario involves the development of the Fortress City. Rich societies break away from the poorer into fortified enclaves. Those able to live in gated and armed encampments would do so, with much privatizing of what were, in many societies, public […]

From I Hate The Internet: A Novel pg 189-190: Like Ray Kurzweil, who Christine identified with Dolos, the Greek spirit of trickery and guile. Ray Kurzweil was the king of technological liberation theology. Or, in other words, he was king of the most intolerable of all intolerable bullshit. He believed in a future where computers […]

Reluctantly cut from my digital sociology paper Indeed, as Srnicek (2016) argues, this dynamics is integral to the nature of the platform itself, as a business model premised upon maximising opportunities for data extraction through situating itself as an intermediary between the interactions of existing actors. Each platform has an epistemic privilege in relation to […]

In his wonderful memoir, Adults In The Room, Yanis Varoufakis reflects on the frustrations of politics and how they compare to academia. From loc 5504: Possibly because of my academic background, this was the Brussels experience I least expected and found most frustrating. In academia one gets used to having one’s thesis torn apart, sometimes with little decorum; […]