Month: January 2018

Earlier this week, a leading figure in Italy’s governing centre-left PD party explained how they were looking to Emmanuel Macron for inspiration in the pitch they were making to the electorate. Their prospects look rather bleak, as an internally divided party trails the populist Five Star Movement in an election most predict will lead to […]

What role can social media research play in the social sciences? What are the questions it can help us to answer? Speakers from a range of backgrounds will talk about their experiences of using social media in their research, providing real examples of use to those interested in seeing how the promises of social media […]

I’m currently reading On Intellectual Craftsmanship, in preparation for a talk I’m doing in Berlin next week. This famous appendix to The Sociological Imagination is something I’ve long been inspired by, finding in it a way of organising my own life that belies the text’s apparently humble ambition to merely guide the novice scholar through […]

Pax by Sara Pennypacker Broadcast by Liam Brown Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff The New Poverty by Stephen Armstrong Collusion by Luke Harding Father and Daughter by Ann Oakley Alt-America by David Neiwert World Without Mind by Franklin Foer Unbelievable by Katy Tur Betting the House by Tim Ross and Tom McTague

The network scientist Emmanuel Lazega studies collegiality and bureaucracy as ideal typical forms of social organisation which co-exist in a fluctuating balance within organisations. Collegiality involves actors recognising each other as autonomous, existing in relationship to each other and necessitating consensus as a preliminary for what will always be non-routine action. Bureaucracy merely requires interaction, […]

My fascination with the technological fantasies of billionaires might seem like a peculiarly nerdy version of a familiar preoccupation with the super rich. However as Yuval Noah Harari observes on loc 3304 of Homo Deus, the dreams of technological salvation which the rich and powerful invest themselves in have important consequences for the rest of […]

One of the most interesting arguments in Kill All Normie by Angela Nagle was her claim that transgression has been decoupled from its contingent association with the left, being taken up by the alt-right in a profoundly reactionary way. I’ve been thinking back to this while reading Fire & Fury by Michael Wolff. Trump seems to […]

In a recent article, Michael Burawoy warned about what he termed the spiralists. These are “people who spiral in from outside, develop signature projects and then hope to spiral upward and onward, leaving the university behind to spiral down”. While he was concerned with university leaders, I observed at the time that the category clearly has […]

The evidence would suggest I’m not alone in being somewhat gripped by Michael Wolff’s new book Fire and Fury. One of the central themes of the book is how no one, including the candidate himself, expected Trump would win and what we have seen since then has been a rapid adaptation, self-serving and bewildered in […]

# Data Worlds? Public Imagination and Public Experimentation with Data Infrastructures ## Convenors – Jonathan Gray (King’s College London) – Noortje Marres (University of Warwick) – Carolin Gerlitz (University of Siegen) – Tommaso Venturini (École Normale Supérieure Lyon) ## Short abstract How do data infrastructures distribute participation across society and culture? Do they participate in […]