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 virtual world ‘out there’ which cyber-utopians promised the internet was opening up, our lifeworld has been reconfigured around the operation of a small number of firms with soaring market capitalisations and opaque corporate strategies. This inserts a new value economy algorithmically generated through quantifiable popularity into everyday interaction, vastly expanding the pool of cultural variety which is potentially accessible while mediating it through the network patterns which these dynamics generate. The pandemic has acted as an accelerant to this process, deepening our dependence upon social platforms across personal and professional life. My research inquires into what these changes mean for human agency at all levels of eduction, encompassing educators and learners across formal and informal settings.

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