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.