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Dr Hugh Mackay

Profile summary

  • Visiting Informal Academic
  • Visiting Honorary Associate
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Hist, Rel St, Soc, SP&C
  • Sociology
  • hugh.mackay

Professional biography

I am an Honorary Associate of the Faculty. Until August 2014 I was Head of Faculty Staff (Wales, Ireland & Scotland) and responsible for leading on Faculty policy in the Celtic nations. I was a member of the Faculty Executive Group, Promotions & Rewards Group and Academic Staff Management Group; and of Senate, Honorary Degrees Committee, and the Academic Staff Promotions Committee. I was Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Staff Tutor at The Open University in Wales for 23 years. Prior to that I was Principal Lecturer in Sociology and Head of Communication Studies at what is now the University of South Wales. I am an Honorary Fellow at Humboldt University, Berlin, where I teach each year and co-convene a multi-disciplinary research group which is exploring austerity in the UK and Brexit.

Course development and teaching

Until 2014 I was Chair of a Level One 15-point module Contemporary Wales (D172), which introduces the economy, culture, society and politics of Wales. It explores the main features of modern Wales and what’s distinctive about it: the first half examines the breadth of differences in Wales; and the second half explores the connections that are forged across these differences. After my retirement I worked as a consultant on Wales and the Welsh (LG001), for which I developed teaching materials on the politics, economy and culture of Wales.

I was Chair of a Level 1 module on Social Science in Action (DXR220), that focused empirically on ‘the information society’; and a Masters module on Transformations in Media Culture (D852). I was a core member of the teams that produced Understanding Media (DA204), Culture, Media & Identities (D318), Introducing the Social Sciences (DD101), and IT & Society (THD204); and I contributed to Sociology and Society (DD201).

Research interests

Research interests

My research focuses empirically on new media technologies, and is generally qualitative or ethnographic. I’ve arrived at new media from an interest in the co-construction of technology and culture, and in particular how users and producers shape technologies.

Living in Cardiff, I have a particular interest in the Welsh media and Welsh media policy, especially regarding the transformation of the media environment with the growth of digital. I am trying to connect my own and other researchers of the media in Wales more closely with the concerns of the Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales.

Returning to my roots in political sociology, I am embarking on a project on elites in Wales with Graham Day at Bangor University. I’ve also written a paper recently on cycling politics.

I completed an AHRC-funded Public Policy Fellowship with Marie Gillespie on the implications of interactivity for the organisation and practices at the BBC World Service; and especially, following CRESC’s Social Life of Methods (SLOM) agenda (see below), the issues raised by website and social media monitoring tools – which allow broadcasters to ‘know the audience’ in new and powerful ways. Prior to that I worked with Marie Gillespie on the BBC World Service ‘Tuning In’ project, exploring some of the uses and implications of interactive forums, and have published three papers on these.

I’ve done work on the switch-off of analogue television, reported in the European Journal of Cultural Policy. I was funded by a breadth of media organisations to examine uses of the mass media in ten very different households, which is reported in a monograph published in 2004.

I was involved in the joint OU-Manchester University CRESC Research Centre. Under the auspices of CRESC, I’ve conducted qualitative research on the domestic uses of the Internet, examining how the Internet connects with everyday household life, and how both are transformed as the technology is taken up.

A PhD student recently completed a thesis on globalisation and software; another wrote a cultural history of the pneumatic tyre.

 

Selected publications

Authored books

Modern Media in the Home: an Ethnographic Study John Libbey, 2004 (with D. Ivey).

Investigating the Information Society, Routledge 2002 (published in Japanese in 2004) (with W. Maples and P. Reynolds).

Doing Cultural Studies: the Story of the Sony Walkman Sage, 1997 (jointly with Paul du Gay, Stuart Hall et al). Second edition published 2013.  Published in Chinese 2014.

Edited books

Contemporary Wales. University of Wales Press, 2010.

The Media Reader. Continuity and Transformation. Sage, 1999 (with T. O'Sullivan).

Consumption and Everyday Life. Sage, 1997.

Chapters in books

‘The transformation of the media in Wales: technology and democracy’. In D. Mannay (ed.) Our Changing Land. University of Wales Press, 2016.

 ‘Discussions on BBC Chinese Have Your Say forums: national identity and international broadcasting in the interactive media era’. In Marie Gillespie and Alban Webb (eds.) Diasporas and Diplomacy: Cosmopolitan Contact Zones at the BBC World Service (1932-2012). Routledge, 2013.

‘New Connections, Familiar Settings: Issues in the Ethnographic Study of New Media Use at Home’ in C. Hine (ed.) Virtual Methods: Issues in Social Research on the Internet. Berg, 2004.

‘New Media and Time-Space Reconfiguration’. In T. Jordan and S. Pile (eds.) Social Change Blackwell, 2002.

'The globalisation of culture' in Held, D. (ed.) A Globalizing World?, Routledge 2000, second edition 2004.

Journal articles

‘Social media analytics: implications for journalism and democracy’.  Journal of Information Ethics, forthcoming, 2017.

Information and the Transformation of Sociology: interactivity and social media monitoring’. TripleC - Cognition, Communication, Co-operation, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 117-126, 2013.

‘Interactivity, the global conversation and World Service research: Digital China’. Participations Vol. 8, No. 1, 2011 (with J.Tong).

‘Mapping Digital Diasporas @ BBC World Service: Users and Uses of the Persian and Arabic Websites’. Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication Vol. 3, No. 2, pp.256-278, 2010 (with M. Andersson & M. Gillespie).

‘Analogue switch-off: multi-channel viewing by ‘the reluctant 50%’’. European Journal of Cultural Policy, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp.33-48, 2007.

‘Reconfiguring the User: using Rapid Application Development’. Social Studies of Science, Vol. 30, No.5, pp.737-57, 2000 (with C. Carne et al).

‘Wales and its Media. Production, Consumption and Regulation’. Contemporary Wales  Vol. 9, pp. 8-39, 1997 (with T. Powell).

 ‘Ideology and appropriation: towards an extension of the social shaping of technology thesis’ Social Studies of Science Vol. 22, No. 4, pp.685-716, 1992 (with G. Gillespie).

Encyclopaedia entries

Communications (Cyfathrebiadau) in Wales (2,000 words), The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. John Davies, Nigel Jenkins et al. (eds.) University of Wales Press, 2008.

‘Information Society’ (3,000 words), World Encyclopaedia of Sociology. G. Ritzer (ed.), Blackwell, 2006.

Working papers

'The Internet and the Transformation of Public and Private', CRESC Working Paper No. 67, September 2009.

Conference papers

‘Cycling organisations: representation, accountability and effectiveness’. Paper presented at Cycling and Society conference, Lancaster, September 2016.

 ‘Social media analytics: the implications of new research tools and real-time data for organisation and practice at the BBC’. Paper presented at the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) conference, Salford, October 2012.

‘ICTs and the Structural Transformation of the Private Sphere’. Paper presented at the International Communication Association Annual Conference, Boston, May 2011.

‘Connecting and downloading: communication, culture and the younger generation’s use of the Internet’. Paper presented at International Communication Association Annual Conference, Montreal, May 2008.

‘'Always on' - continuous broadband and household Dynamics’. Paper presented at Association of Internet Researchers Conference, Adelaide, September 2006.

‘Design and Culture: the Symbolic Shaping of Apple Computers’. Paper presented at American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, August 2005.

 

Teaching interests

Until 2014 I was Chair of a Level One 15-point module Contemporary Wales (D172), which introduces the economy, culture, society and politics of Wales. It explores the main features of modern Wales and what’s distinctive about it: the first half examines the breadth of differences in Wales; and the second half explores the connections that are forged across these differences. After my retirement I worked as a consultant on Wales and the Welsh (LG001), for which I developed teaching materials on the politics, economy and culture of Wales.

I was Chair of a Level 1 module on Social Science in Action (DXR220), that focused empirically on ‘the information society’; and a Masters module on Transformations in Media Culture (D852). I was a core member of the teams that produced Understanding Media (DA204), Culture, Media & Identities (D318), Introducing the Social Sciences (DD101), and IT & Society (THD204); and I contributed to Sociology and Society (DD201).

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Centre for Citizenship, Identifies and Governance (CCIG)CentreFaculty of Social Sciences
Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC)CentreFaculty of Social Sciences

Publications

Information and the transformation of sociology: interactivity and social media monitoring (2013)
Mackay, Hugh
tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique, 11(1) (pp. 117-126)
Interactivity, the global conversation and World Service research: Digital China (2011-05)
Mackay, Hugh and Tong, Jingrong
Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 8(1)
Special issue editorial: Designs & devices: towards a genealogy of audience research methods at the BBC World Service, 1932-2011 (2011-05)
Gillespie, Marie; Mackay, Hugh and Webb, Alban
Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 8(1)
Designs & devices: towards a genealogy of audience research methods at the BBC World Service, 1932-2011 (2011-05)
Gillespie, Marie; Mackay, Hugh and Webb, Alban
Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 8(1) (pp. 1-20)
Mapping digital diasporas @ BBC World Service: users and uses of the Persian and Arabic websites (2010-04)
Andersson, Matilda; Gillespie, Marie and Mackay, Hugh
Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, 3(2) (pp. 256-278)
Analogue switch-off: Multi-channel viewing by 'the reluctant 50%' (2007-02)
Mackay, Hugh
International Journal of Cultural Policy, 13(1) (pp. 33-48)
Understanding Contemporary Wales (2010)
Mackay, Hugh
ISBN : 978-0-7083-23052 | Publisher : University of Wales Press | Published : Cardiff
Modern Media in the Home: An ethnographic study (2004)
Mackay, Hugh and Ivey, Darren
ISBN : 1 86020 598 4 | Publisher : John Libbey | Published : Rome, Italy
Investigating the Information Society (2002-07-11)
Mackay, Hugh; Maples, Wendy and Reynolds, Paul
ISBN : 415268311 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK
Discussions on BBC Chinese 'Have Your Say' forums: national identity and international broadcasting in the interactive media era (2012-12-10)
Tong, Jingrong and Mackay, Hugh
In: Gillespie, Marie and Webb, Alban eds. Diasporas and Diplomacy: Cosmopolitan Contact Zones at the BBC World Service (1932-2012). CRESC (pp. 230-247)
ISBN : 978-0-415-50880-3 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
Rugby: an introduction to contemporary Wales (2010)
Mackay, Hugh
In: Mackay, Hugh ed. Understanding Contemporary Wales (pp. 1-23)
ISBN : 978-0-7083-2305-2 | Publisher : University of Wales Press | Published : Cardiff
New connections, familiar settings: issues in the ethnographic study of new media use at home (2005-04)
Mackay, Hugh
In: Hine, Christine ed. Virtual Methods: Issues in Social Research on the Internet (pp. 129-140)
ISBN : 1845200853 | Publisher : Berg | Published : Oxford, UK
New media and time-space reconfiguration (2002)
Mackay, Hugh
In: Jordan, Timothy and Pile, Steve eds. Social Change. Sociology and Society (pp. 139-184)
ISBN : 631233121 | Publisher : Blackwell | Published : Oxford, UK
BBC World Service Audience Research, 1932-2011 (2011-05)
Webb, Alban; Gillespie, Marie and Mackay, Hugh
Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies
The Internet and the Transformation of Public and Private (2009-09)
Mackay, Hugh
CRESC (Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change), Manchester.

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