My research spans four thematic clusters: digital transformation, digital social science, digital social theory and digital scholarship. It focuses on the contribution made by digital technology to social change, as well as the politics of how we analyse the nexus between technological innovation, social structures and individual agency. More specifically, I am intensely interested in how public discourses concerning technology (‘hypes’, ‘bubbles’, ‘viral’ content) shape how people relate to innovation, as well as how digital sociology can recognise these dynamics without becoming embroiled within them. I believe digital technology is not an impersonal force to which people either adapt or fail to, but rather a cluster of processes happening with, through and to people. These empirical, methodological and theoretical questions have serious ramifications for the craft of scholarship: digital transformation is not only ‘out there’, but also impacts how we do research ‘in here’. This is why relating digital transformation to knowledge production is so essential because otherwise scholarship can’t undergo the change which the emerging information environment requires of it.
This is a place for developing ideas, thinking out loud and collecting things I might need later. If you are looking for my considered thoughts then please see my publications or my Medium blog. I run an (occasional) newsletter here. If you need a bio for me then please use the one below:
Mark Carrigan is a sociologist in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge. His research explores how the proliferation of digital platforms is reshaping education systems, with a particular focus on knowledge production within universities. He is internationally recognised as a leading expert on the role of social media within higher education, giving over 100 invited talks internationally and consulting for universities, research centres and publishers. He is associate editor of Civic Sociology, social media editor of International Journal of Social Research Methodology and a member of the editorial boards of Applied Social Theory, Digital Culture & Education, Discover Society, Journal of Digital Social Research and Social Research Practice. He is a Fellow of the RSA, a trustee of the Social Research Association, co-convenor of the SRHE’s Digital University Network, co-convenor of the BSA’s Digital Sociology group, co-convenor of the Accelerated Academy, a member of the Centre for Social Ontology, an associate member of CHERE at Lancaster University and a research associate in the Public Policy Group at LSE.