Menu Home

New Book: The Public and their Platforms

I’m so excited the book I’ve been working on with Lambros Fatsis over the last few years is coming out in June. It’s the result of a long conversation we’ve had about our mutual frustrations concerning ‘public sociology’ which led us to rethink what it means to be public scholars once digital platforms are ubiquitous and the public sphere has been decimated by COVID-19.

What is a platform?

I thought this was great from Jean Burgess and Nacy Baym’s new book on Twitter. On pg 15 they take issue with the view of platforms as “a single ‘technology’—a static object that can be cast as a causal agent of societal change” arguing that “A closer look reveals a […]

The supersurfaces of social media

If I understand this notion from Zizi Papacharissi correctly*, it captures something important about social media. These platforms create an experience of expansiveness which doesn’t hook into the social world in a significant way. It’s a free-wheeling expansiveness, to use a term from Roy Bhaskar’s critique of Richard Rorty, a […]

Datafication and discipline in educaiton

My notes on Manolev, J., Sullivan, A., & Slee, R. (2019). The datafication of discipline: ClassDojo, surveillance and a performative classroom culture. Learning, Media and Technology, 44(1), 36-51. To understand how digital technology is reshaping education, it’s necessary to analyse how datafication (“the conversion of social action into quantifiable data […]

You can’t have your ‘facts’ back

My notes on Marres, N. (2018). Why We Can’t Have Our Facts Back. Engaging Science, Technology, and Society, 4, 423-443. “We want our facts back” is a semi-joking remarking Noortje Marres overheard an academic say which captures a wider response to what has been called ‘post-truth’. Many feel increasingly inclined […]

Open science and platform capitalism: a love story?

My notes on Mirowski, P. (2018). The future (s) of open science. Social studies of science, 48(2), 171-203. In this provocative paper, Philip he takes issue with the “taken-for-granted premise that modern science is in crying need of top-to-bottom restructuring and reform” which underpins much of the open science movement, as well as its tendency to […]

The governance of platforms

This ECPR panel looks superb. Saving here to follow up later: please find attached, the call for papers for a panel at the ECPR General Conference in Wrocław (4 – 7 September). Title of the panel:***The Relationship Between Digital Platforms and** **Government Agencies in Surveillance: Oversight of or by Platforms?* […]

Cambridge as a platform city

My notes on Philip Cooke (2018) Generative growth with ‘thin’ globalization: Cambridge’s crossover model of innovation, European Planning Studies, 26:9, 1815-1834, DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2017.1421908 Since moving to Cambridge in July 2017, I’ve become fascinated by the transformation underway within the city and what it reveals about the political economy of the UK. […]

The Political Ontology of Platforms

These notes are for the fifth and final week of the CPGJ platform capitalism intensive reading group. One of the themes running through the readings over the five weeks has been the political valence of platforms and its relationship to our analysis of them. My own instinct is that valorising […]