• Liberating Ourselves from the Filter Bubble

    In this RSA talk the pioneering online campaigner Eli Pariser talks about a crucial and, as yet under-discussed, danger facing the the social media web: the expansion of filtering into every aspect of our online activity. Sites collect data on usage patterns, particularly our reactions to being presented with content and the action (e.g. ‘like’, ‘share’, […]

  • Transcript of an interview I did with AsexualNews.Com

    1) How did this process get you started on the study of  Asexuality? My first reaction when I came across the idea of asexuality was actually non-comprehension. In common with a lot of the sexual people I’ve spoken to about asexuality since then, I found it very interesting but I just didn’t ‘get it’. I’d […]

  • GTD and Reflexivity #2 – Reflexive Technology & Teleology

    We create and identify with things that aren’t real yet on all the levels we experience; and when we do, we recognise how to restructure our currentl world to morph it into the ne one, and experience an impetus to make it so. Things that have your attention need your intention engaged. “What does this […]

  • The Sociology of Productivity

    Following up on what I was writing about Getting Things Done (GTD) and reflexivity last night – the further I get into David Allen’s second book, the more aware I am of the countless empirical claims he makes about how internal conversation and reflexivity operate. I agree with many of them and, given the foundations […]

  • Getting Things Done & Reflexivity

    I increasingly find myself obsessed by David Allen’s Getting Things Done system. In part this is because, through the almost indescribably useful Omnifocus and Omnioutliner software package, its introduction into my life has started to diminish a near constant feeling of information overload (and sometimes emotional disorientation) which had developed over two years of juggling […]

  • The Financialization of Life Itself

    Interesting article in the Guardian today about IDS’s social impact bonds and their magical capacity to fix ‘Broken Britain’: But the plan put forward yesterday by Iain Duncan Smith, Oliver Letwin and Labour MP Graham Allen to issue “early intervention bonds” to solve the infinitely complex problems of families in trouble flaps away into delusion. Here is […]

  • Creating Publics Workshop 21 & 22 July 2011

    University of Westminster Site: Cavendish, Room: Pavillion, 115 New Cavendish Street, London, W1W 6UW Map & Directions: http://www.westminster.ac.uk/about/how-to-find-us/cavendish The Publics Research Programme at The Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance at The Open University, with the University of Westminster, is convening a two-day workshop in central London on 21 and 22 July 2011 on the theme […]

  • Relationality, Social Media, Dissent and Protest

    The abstract for a presentation I’m doing at the BSA Media Study Group in Leicester next Wednesday: In this presentation I draw on critical realist theory, particularly the work of Margaret Archer and Christian Smith, to offer a tentative framework through which to study the impact of social media upon social practices of protest and […]

  • A Realist Theory of A/Sexual Categories

    On July 15th I’ll be part of what will hopefully be a fascinating panel discussion on sexual categorization at the Understanding the Social World conference at the University of Huddersfield. Here’s the abstract for my presentation: In this presentation I draw on my fieldwork into the asexual community (8 in-depth interviews, 174 surveys and an […]

  • Want to get involved with sociological imagination.org?

    Hi all – we’re trying to recruit another news editor & two editorial assistants to work on Sociological Imagination. The former involves finding Higher Education news stories and writing short (100-200 word) summaries about them and the latter involves posting up links/videos/pictures etc likely to be of interest to SI readers on the blog, facebook […]

  • Mark Fisher on Communications and Late Capitalism

    In this keynote from Virtual Futures, Mark Fisher, author of the stunning Capitalist Realism, talks about the role which innovations in communicative technology play in the unfolding of late capitalism. He talks about the growing ‘digital communicative malaise’ which can be observed in contemporary society while suggesting that there’s still to much reluctance to address this […]

  • Call for Papers: what does the Sociological Imagination mean today?

    It has been over 50 years since C. Wright Mills wrote the Sociological Imagination. In that time the world has changed beyond recognition: the Cold War ended, the Keynesian consensus broke down, a globalizing neoliberalism rose to the ascendancy and the internet began to transform human communication and culture. In recent years, with 9/11 and […]

  • Please copy and paste this into your status for 24 hours to show your support for the strike against the UK government’s latest attack against public sector workers.

    Remember when teachers, doctors, nurses and lollipop ladies crashed the stock market, wiped out banks, took billions in bonuses and paid no tax? No … me neither. Please copy and paste this into your status for 24 hours to show your support for the strike against the UK government’s latest attack against public sector workers.

  • If you’re going to talk about subjectification you need a theory of the subject…

    When Miller and Rose (2008: 1 – 25) describe the general trajectory of their work on governmentality, they elaborate upon the questions that have guided their inquiry over the last two three decades. Most notable for my purposes is the question relating to human self-understanding and its utilisation within governmental practices: What understandings of the […]

  • Angry Young Academics: The “Directors’ Cut”

    The full version of an article by Martin Eve and Jennifer Jones on the Guardian website last week. Makes for superb reading, particularly this bit which stood out to me after a year of teaching 5 undergraduate seminars a week: The PhD sits at the eye of this whirlwind of commodification, poised as it is […]

  • The Impact Agenda in the Arts and Humanities

    In this podcast I talk to Dr Nadine Lewycky, Arts Impact Officer at the University of Warwick about what her work involves and broader issues relating to the impact agenda for the arts and humanities. For more information about her work see here

  • The university in the sky and the university between the cracks? Using social media to liberate networks, defend academic values and transform higher education

    Core academic values are profoundly imperilled by the government’s higher education ‘reforms’. In this presentation I engage with the theoretical question of what these values are, as well as how they are threatened, as a basis for formulating strategies for their defence. I argue for the need to distinguish between the cultural and structural dimensions […]

  • Some new podcasts

    Workshop on asexuality at the University of Warwick Interview with the Wellcome Collection’s web editor Public Universities and Public Futures Social Theory and the Politics of Austerity Cognitive Enhancement and Modafinil Post-Neoliberal Futures

  • A couple of new podcasts

    Dave Elder-Vass on the Causal Power of Social Structures Simon Williams on the Sociology of Sleep

  • Think Tank Watch

    The government should cut its ties with the “expansionist” European Court of Human Rights, says a report by a right-leaning think tank. The Policy Exchange report says the recent row over prisoners’ voting rights highlights the issue. The report, written by a former government adviser, Dr Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, says the UK has become “subservient” to […]