Tag: Archive

The final session is kicking off with Ben Williamson (University of Edinburgh) talking about how digital data is transforming the university. These institutions are increasingly imagined as ‘smart’ organisations built around data infrastructure, with a whole range of innovations being pushed by a diverse array of actors. This has included the Department for Education commissioning […]

Our next session starts with Phil Brown from Cardiff University talking about the reality underlying the rhetoric of automation. Claims about the impending reality of mass unemployment driven by automation circulate widely, with a significant risk of exaggeration. Nonetheless, the general direction of travel is clear and there will be a declining demand for labour, posing problems […]

The first speaker is Sonia Livingstone from the Department of Media and Communications at LSE. Reflecting Phil Howard’s claim that sociology is bridging the quantitative/qualitative divide, Livingstone’s work draws on qualitative and quantitative data to elucidate what digital technology means for parents and childhoods. Parents seek to equip their children for what they imagine will […]

I’m writing this blog from the remarkably grand Churchill Room in the Department for Media, Culture and Sport where the first session of the British Sociological Association’s President Event Digital Futures is due to start, co-organised with the Open Innovations Team in government. I’ll be doing my best to live blog throughout the day, updating […]

I’m so excited about this event I’m organising with Gary Hall on November 29th. Register here if you’d like to attend. Everyone is welcome and the Faculty of Education is really easy to get to. It’s a short walk from Cambridge train station and there are regular trains from London Kings Cross and London Liverpool […]

I watched this incredible documentary last night and I can’t get it out of my head. It tells the story of four Syrian families going through a resettlement program in suburban Baltimore. At one point some of the children are playing on the first day at their new school and using a war plane to […]

There’s a wonderful piece in the Atlantic talking about the accumulating scandals through which “the tech industry has gone from bright young star to death star”, with increasing public knowledge leading to a recognition that “Silicon Valley companies turned out to be roughly as dirty in their corporate maneuvering as any old oil company or […]

This short article by Bent Flyvbjerg and Alexander Budzier makes a powerful case that “IT projects are now so big, and they touch so many aspects of an organization, that they pose a singular new risk”. It reports on a project they undertook analysing 1,471 projects,  comparing their expected budget and performance benefits to the […]

I’m utterly gripped by Oliver Bullough’s Moneyland and its account of the meta-country being built through the ability of global elites to escape national jurisdictions, facilitated by an army of lawyers, accountants and wealth managers. One of the most incisive themes concerns the acceleration of this corruption and the difficulty which it creates for public or private investigators […]

I’ve always been ambivalent about Slavoj Žižek, not least of all with the alt-right turn seemingly underway in his new book. Nonetheless, I think he gets to the point in his analysis of how Trump has been elevated into a fetish object within the liberal establishment, his garish buffoonery standing in the way of an […]

The first edition of my newsletter. You can subscribe here for very occasional rambling reflections like the one below.   Archives have always seemed romantic to me. It’s only recently I’ve discovered that they’re less romantic yet far more fascinating than I realised. I’ve spent some time in two archives, The Foundations of British Sociology archive at Keele […]

I spent this afternoon at the Cambridge film festival, watching two films which couldn’t seem more different yet spoke to our current moment in oddly similar ways. All the President’s Men was released in 1976, telling the story of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s investigation of the Watergate scandal. The Waldheim Waltz was released this year yet […]