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DIGITAL SOCIOLOGY

Research group Our Digital Sociology team within the DIGSUM Centre for Digital Social Research works with a variety of methodologies and theoretical perspectives to explore the social, cultural, and political implications of digital technologies.

Digital technologies, such as the internet, social media, and artificial intelligence, are an integral part of our lives. They are transforming the way we interact with each other, moving capital, creating new institutions, shaping our ideas and knowledge, and even changing our identities. However, these technologies can both offer opportunities for breaking down old power structures and reinforce established systems of inequality and domination. This tension between liberation and restriction is the focus of digital sociology.

Our research group in Digital Sociology delves into the social, cultural, and political implications of digital technologies, utilizing a diverse range of methodologies and theoretical perspectives. Our ongoing projects are focused on several key areas of digital sociology, including:

  • Digital politics and activism: We are investigating how digital platforms are influencing the political landscape and the practice of activism. This includes analysing the role of social media in political campaigns, the use of digital tools to raise awareness about social issues, and the impact of online political discussions on public opinion.
  • AI, algorithms, and datafication: We are researching the impact of artificial intelligence, algorithms, and processes of datafication on society, politics, and individual lives. This includes exploring how AI and algorithms are used in decision-making processes, the ethical implications of data collection and usage, the broader effects of algorithmic governance on democracy and social inequality, and how they redefine the boundaries of privacy, autonomy, and identity in the digital age.
  • Digital culture, community, and memory: We study how individuals construct their identities, form communities, and create and preserve memories in digital spaces. By examining the ways in which digital platforms facilitate the documentation, sharing, and memorialisation of both personal and collective histories, we aim to understand the evolving nature of memory in the digital age. We address how digital culture and mediated interactions contribute to the reconfiguration of social bonds and the negotiation of cultural identity.
  • Digital ideologies: We are examining the ideologies that shape and are shaped by digital technologies, and how they impact societal norms, values, and power relations.
  • Digital research methods: We are exploring and developing new and innovative methods for studying digital phenomena, including digital ethnography, social network analysis, computational text analysis, and a variety of mixed methods approaches.

Contact

Members

Moa Broqvist
Doctoral student
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Agnes Liminga
Doctoral student
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Ragnar Lundström
Associate professor
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Samuel Merrill
Associate professor
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Henrik Sigurdh
Doctoral student
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Mathilda Åkerlund
Postdoctoral fellow
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Emma Östin
Doctoral student
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Moa Eriksson Krutrök
Associate professor
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Overview

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Centre for Digital Social Research, Department of Sociology

Research projects

#NeverForget vs. #NeverHappened: Holocaust Commemoration and Contestation on Social Media
With the number of living Holocaust survivors shrinking and surveys showing that memory of the Holocaust is receding in European and Anglophone...
Type of project Research project
Duration 1 December 2023 until 30 November 2026
PastForward: The political uses of the past in digital discourses about Nordic futures
In democratic elections, voters regularly have the chance to decide the future of their country. They can choose between political parties with...
Type of project Research project
Duration 1 December 2023 until 30 November 2026
Artificial Intelligence and Social Memory: Critical Explorations of AI’s Implications for Societal Remembrance
A new transdisciplinary research agenda is emerging concerned with the critical analysis of AI systems and their impact on many different realms of...
Type of project Research project
Duration 1 August 2023 until 31 January 2024
Postdigital Propaganda
The project "Postdigital Propaganda? Understanding Digitally Enabled Disinformation" investigates the pervasive issue of digital disinformation and...
Type of project Research project
Duration 1 July 2023 until 31 December 2026
Programmable Politics: Civil Society in the Age of Algorithmic Automation
The overarching aim of this project is to analyse and contribute to the scholarly understanding of the impacts of algorithmic automation on civil...
Type of project Research project
Duration 1 January 2022 until 31 December 2026
Cyborg Politics: Artificial agents in online democratic deliberation
Artificial agents in the shape of social bots are an increasingly important feature of communication on the internet. There is an increased use by...
Type of project Research project
Duration 1 January 2021 until 31 December 2025
Algorithms of Resistance: Anti-racist activism in the age of datafication
Recent scholarship has stressed how the platforms and software of digital society can enable and reinforce racism via their so-called algorithms of...
Type of project Research project
Duration 1 January 2020 until 31 December 2022
Latest update: 2024-02-23