Skip to main content

Digital Media and Society

Our Digital Media and Society research cluster engages with the intersection of new technological and social developments, such as the role of social media, transformations in digital culture, new forms of politics online, and the collection and use of data.

Since its inception in 2014 the cluster brings together a diverse set of researchers who explore the facets and dynamics of an ever-changing digital society from the perspective of social sciences, cultural studies, and journalism. They explore innovative practices, such as online activism and fan cultures, and critically explore the implications of digital infrastructures for civic rights, social justice and democracy.

Research monographs from this cluster include: Digital Citizenship in a Datafied Society (Arne Hintz, Lina Dencik, Karin Wahl-Jorgensen, 2019); The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain (Francesca Sobande, 2020) and Hybrid Media Activism (Emiliano Treré, 2018).

Data Justice Lab

The growing role of big data in contemporary societies has formed a particular focus of this research cluster. Since its launch in 2017, the Data Justice Lab has investigated the relationships between datafication and social justice, highlighting the politics and impacts of data-driven processes.

Its ongoing research examines the implications of institutional and organisational uses of data, provides critical responses to data harms and misuses, and explores avenues for democratising datafied societies. It hosts a book series on Data Justice (with Sage Publications) and organises a biennial conference.

The lab has won investment of over £1.5 Million from the European Commission and the Open Society Foundations across different funded research projects. Research is carried out across national and international contexts with academic partners and social justice networks, including trade unions/labour rights and migrant solidarity groups.

The lab’s work has been taken up by organisations such as the Open Rights Group and Algorithm Watch, was cited in key policy debate such as the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology, and has contributed to major investigations, incl. by the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty on the effects of austerity in the UK.