I am Senior Lecturer in Sociology.
I am chair of DD218, a new sociology module, provisionally entitled Understanding Digital Societies. I am also research lead of the Digital Participation stream of the University’s new Strategic Research Area in Citizenship and Governance. The stream explores how ‘the digital’ acts as a placeholder for a variety of technological changes that are also signalled by terms like ‘big data’, internet of things, the cloud and smart cities. The stream aims to support and reinforce research about how – and whether - these changes are reshaping what participation means in social, political, cultural, organisational and economic terms.
My research is about how consumer markets are made, especially for dull, difficult or challenging products like life and health insurance and doorstep and payday loans. I was PI of the Wellcome Trust Seed Award (No. WT108386AIA) Insuring healthcare in a Digital World. This award was part of an ongoing project exploring how the convergences surrounding digital disruption and the current global wave of health care funding reforms are forging new roles for states, markets and marketing. Similar issues were explored from a historical perspective in my 2014 book Devising Consumption: cultural economies of insurance, credit and spending. Here, the connections between insurance, credit, spending and public welfare are showcased as part of an argument that the dynamic, adaptive techniques used to devise, market and sustain the consumption of dull products might usefully inform the design of public provision.
The interdisciplinary character of this research project is also evident in the Journal of Cultural Economy (See our editorial website here). I am Editor-in-Chief of the Journal with responsibility for developing its external profile. Since publishing its first issue in 2008 the JCE has become the primary interdisciplinary forum for work that explores the relations between culture, economies, markets, societies, states and organisations. In 2016 it was selected for inclusion in Thomson Reuter’s Social Sciences Citation Index and celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2017.
I was Head of Sociology between 2012-2016 and director of CCIG’s Digital Citizens Research Programme between 2014-2016. I was a founding member of the ESRC major funded Centre for Research into Social and Cultural Change (CRESC) (2004-2013) and co-founder of the CHARISMA Consumer Market Studies research network.
I am co-editor, with Franck Cochoy and Joe Deville of Markets and the Arts of Attachment (Routledge, 2017), co-editor with Paul du Gay and Simon Carter of Conduct: sociology and social worlds (Manchester University Press, 2008) and author of Advertising: a cultural economy (Sage, 2004).
I am currently supervising a number of PhD projects including Jane Wilson’s ‘UK arts policy: a suitable site for investigating the social life of methods?’, Olivia Gable’s examination of a publicly funded grants programme for popular musicians based in England, and the international visiting student Matanje Raschke’s work on life coaches as cultural intermediaries.
Nobumi Kobayashi’s ‘The Social Significance of Brands completed 2016.
Andras Novosath’s 'Paying to be Good: The Bristol Pound and its other method assemblages' completed 2016
I welcome applications in any area connected with the sociology and history of markets, insurance, digital health and their connections to other areas of social and public life.
Chair of DD218, a new sociology module, from 2017
Chair/Member of D318 Culture, Media and Identities presentation and remake team 2001-2006
|Centre for Citizenship, Identifies and Governance (CCIG)||Centre||Faculty of Social Sciences|
|Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC)||Centre||Faculty of Social Sciences|