Professor William Housley PhD, DSc.Econ.
Chair in Sociology
- +44(0) 29 2087 5236
- +44(0) 29 2087 4175
- Glamorgan Building
Professor Housley is an internationally recognised expert in qualitative and social research methods, sociological theory, the study of practical reason, ethnomethodology, membership categorization analysis, social interaction and digital sociology. He was a co-founder and core member of the Collaborative Online Social Media ObServatory (COSMOS) that was funded by the ESRC and JISC and currently convenes the Digital Sociology Research Group at Cardiff University. His contribution to Sociology was confirmed through the award of a DSc Econ. by Cardiff University in 2012 for his internationally recognized work in the field of interaction, communication and social organization. He has also published widely on ethnographic methods, political and policy communication, citizenship, identity and collaborative team-work. His current focus is on the emerging field of digital sociology as it relates to new socio-technical systems, disruptive technologies (e.g. social media, additive manufacture and robotics), interaction, algorithmic accountability, automation, interdisciplinarity, community and civil society. He recently completed a Cardiff University 12 Month Research Fellowship entitled ‘Media, Manufacture and Mobilities: Disruptive Digital Technologies in Action’. He is co-editor of Qualitative Research (SAGE) and serves on the editorial board of Big Data and Society (SAGE). Professor Housley has recently been awarded the prestigious Vincent Wright Chair, at Sciences Po, Paris, for 2017.
I welcome supervision in the areas of:
- The emerging contours of digital societies
- Ethnomethodology and the social life of methods and data
- Social implications of disruptive digital technologies
- Communication and interaction
- The sociology of art and design
- Collaborative working and interdisciplinary practice
- Decision-making and organisations
Honours and awards
Vincent Wright Chair, Sciences Po, 2016 - 2017
FAcSS. (Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, conferred 2016)
DSc.Econ. (Senior Doctorate) Cardiff University, 2012
Visiting Research Fellow, Welsh Institute for Social and Cultural Affairs (WISCA), University of Wales, Bangor (2006)
Member of British Sociological Association
Member of Association for Studies in Innovation Science and Technology (AsSIST - UK)
Associate member of WISERD ESRC/HEFCE/WAG research institute (Cardiff, Bangor, Aberystwyth and Swansea Universities, Wales, UK)
Previous academic positions
- Deputy Director, Research and Graduate School in Social Sciences; (2004 – 2007)
- Lecturer in Sociology, SOCSI (1998 – 2007)
2016 – Social Transformation and Disruptive Technologies – Plenary Speaker, Digital Sociology Stream, Annual British Sociological Association, Conference, Aston, UK.
2016 – Analysing Social Media as Interaction – Plenary Speaker, Micro Analysis of Online Data Network, Annual Conference, Salford, UK.
2015, Social media and civil society: participation, regulation and governance. Presented at: WISERD 2015 Annual Conference, Cardiff, Wales.
2015, Defining the situation in collaborative interdisciplinary Team Work, Presented at International Pragmatics Association Conference (IPRA), Antwerp, Belgium.
2015, Revisiting Doing Data, Presented at International Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis Association Conference, Kolding, Denmark.
2015, Social Media as Data? A Collaborative Interdisciplinary Response, Turing Institute, London, UK.
2013 - The 'Collaborative Online Social Media Observatory', British Academy, London, UK.
2013 - Hate Speech and Social media Information Flows, Department of International Relations, Wolfson College, Oxford University, UK.
2013 - 'COSMOS: Theory, Method and Data' Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick, UK.
2013 - 'Demonstration of Pre-Alpha Version of COSMOS', School of Journalism and Communication, University of Queensland, Australia.
2013 - 'Social Science and Computer Science Collaboration: Lessons Learnt', School of Journalism and Communication, University of Queensland, Australia.
2013 - 'Beyond the Empirical Crisis: Augmentation, Re-orientation or Surrogacy', School of Journalism and Communication, University of Queensland, Australia.
2013 - 'The Collaborative Online Social Media Observatory: Past, Present and Future', School of Journalism and Communication, University of Queensland, Australia.
2012, The Cardiff Online Social Media Observatory, Background and Implications for Social Research Methods, Blurring the Boundaries - New Social Media, New Social Science. NatCen Social Research, Sage and Oxford Internet Institute (funded by NCRM) Social Media Network, New Social Media, New Social Science? London, Royal Institute of British Architects, UK.
2012, Treating social media as data: Computational sociological methods, Data analysis and the Cardiff Online Social Media ObServatory (COSMOS). 5th ESRC Research Methods Festival, St Catherine’s College. Oxford University, UK.
2012, COSMOS, Demonstration, 5th ESRC Research Methods Festival, St Catherine’s College. Oxford University, UK.
2012, Power-sensemaking and strategic action (with Whittles, A.) Fourth International Symposium on Process Organization Studies, Kos, Greece.
2012, Leaders as practical sociologists, (with Whittles, A.) 28th European Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium, Helsinki, Finland.
2012, Power-talk: The discourse of power (with Whittles, A.) 10th International Conference on Organizational Discourse, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
2012, How do strategists make sense of power? (with Whittles, A.) British Academy of Management Conference, Cardiff University, Wales.
2012, Alternative Dwelling, Construction, Use and Green Expertise. Sustainability Conference, Cardiff International Conference and Sustainable Place-making, Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University, Wales.
2012 - Developing the Collaborative Online Social Media ObServatory (COSMOS) ESRC Digital Social Research Network, National Experts Meeting, Keeble College, Oxford University, UK.
2011- Beyond the Empirical Crisis? Social Science and the Cardiff Digital Research Platform, Presentation, Distinguished Lecture Series, Cardiff University, Wales.
2008 - Manchester Ethnography Group, Beyond Discourse and the Subject: Restating the Case for Social Organisation, Manchester University, UK.
2005 - Discourse Analysis and Rhetoric Group (D.A.R.G.), Navigation and Bridge Team Interaction, Loughborough University, UK.
2005 - Welsh Institute for Society and Culture, Cultural Modernisation in Wales, Bangor, Wales.
2016 - present, Director MSc Social Science Research Methods (SSRM), Cardiff University
2011 - 2014 Research Committee member, Cardiff University School of Social Sciences (2011/12 – 2013/14)
2010 - present, Pathway Convenor for Sociology (ESRC, Wales, DTP)
2011 – 2014, Cardiff University School of Social Sciences – Member of the Senior Management Team (SOCSI)
2009 - Member of Qualitative Methods Training and Capacity Building Committee - WISERD
2004 – 2007 Deputy Director of the Research and Graduate School in the Social Sciences (Cardiff University, RGS)
2015 - 2016, Member of Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (UK) Benchmarking Committee (Sociology) 2015/2016
2014 - present, Member of ISRF Digital Social Science Forum
I have been employed in a number of different teaching positions. This has provided me with considerable teaching experience and time to develop a range of effective strategies for carrying out tutorials, seminars, workshops and lectures. I am aware of the issues surrounding assessment and delivery of course material within a changing environment in Higher Education. I am grounded within the practical challenges of teaching and have a reservoir of experience in teaching mainstream social science in a number of diverse settings and to range of learning audiences. This has included full time and part time students, undergraduates, postgraduates and professionals on short training courses. I represented the Welsh social science and sociology community as a panel member for the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) sociology subject benchmark review carried out during the course of 2015/2016.
- Social Theory (S1006);
- Sociology of Culture (S10134);
- Power, Culture and Identity (S10164);
- New Frontiers in Sociology (S10163)
MSc/Diploma Social Science Research Methods
- Discourse and Conversation Analysis (SIT072)
- Advanced Concepts in Sociology(SIT074)
- Qualitative Research
Funded Research Projects:
2015 – 2016 Digital Wildfires, responsible citizenship and social media. Funded by the British Academy, £10,000 (with Girvan, Edwards, Jirotka and Procter).
2015 - Media, Manufacture and Mobilities: Disruptive Digital Technologies in Action. Cardiff University Research Fellowship, £15,000
2014 – 2016, Digital Wildfire: (Mis)information flows, propagation and responsible governance. Funded by ESRC, Cardiff Lead Co-investigator (Global Uncertainties), £248,413 (with Jirotka, Procter, Edwards et al)
2014 – 2015, Detecting Tension and Cohesion in Local Communities with Social Media, Funded by Airbus Group, £51,040 Co-investigator (with Rana, Burnap, Edwards and Williams)
2014 – 2016, Sage Postdoctoral Fellowship Funding, Co-sponsored Research Methods Fellowship at Cardiff University, Co-investigator (with Coffey, Edwards and Brindle, SAGE) £38,000
2013 – 2015, Understanding the role of social media in the aftermath of youth suicides. Funded by Department of Health, England. £200,000, Co-investigator (with Scourfield, Williams, Burnap and Edwards).
2013-2014, Hate Speech and Social Media: Understanding Users, Networks and Information Flows.Funded by ESRC and Google (Google Data Analytics Social Science Research Call) £124, 986, Principal- Investigator (with Williams, Edwards, Burnap, Rana, Procter, Voss and Knight).
2013-2014, Social Media and Prediction: Crime Sensing, Data Integration and Statistical Modelling. Funded by ESRC /NCRM Methodological Innovation, £195,000, Co-Investigator (with Williams, Edwards, Burnap, Rana, Procter, Voss and Knight).
2013-2014, Supporting Empirical Digital Social Research for the Social Sciences with a Virtual Research Environment. Funded by JISC, £55,519, Co Investigator (with Burnap, Williams, Rana, Edwards & Avis).
2011-12, Digital Social Research Tools, Tension Indicators and Safer Communities: A Demonstration of the Cardiff Online Social Media Observatory (COSMOS). Funded by the ESRC £79,000 Co-Investigator (with Matthew Williams, Adam Edwards, Malcolm Williams, Omer Rana and Nick Avis).
2012, Requirements Analysis for Social Media Research Tools. Funded by the ESRC £5,000, Co Investigator (with Burnap, Housley, Rana, Edwards, Avis & Proctor).
2010 – 2012, Alternative Dwelling Construction, Lifestyle and Green Expertise. Funded by the British Academy, £5000.
2005 – 2006, Coal, Slate and Culture. Funded by the Board of Celtic Studies, £7000.
2001 – 2002, Art and Devolution in Wales: Perceptions and Expectations. Funded by the British Academy, £5000.
My current impact activities focus on Disruptive Digital Technologies: Governance, Regulation and Responsible Innovation. This has been identified as an emerging impact narrative for SOCSI.
- ESRC Digital Wildfires Project (Oxford, Cardiff and Warwick Universities) Impact Activity
- ESRC Impact Acceleration Award: In addition to the above I recently secured (as a co-applicant) an ESRC Impact Acceleration Award (£20,000, 2016 - 2017) with colleagues based at Oxford University (Professor Marina Jirotka, Computer Science) and Warwick University (Professor Rob Procter, Computer Science). This will help accelerate a range of impact initiatives that are connected to a suite of interconnected research projects that I have been undertaking over the last four years (2012 – 2016).