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Sociology Research


Muhammed is a PhD Student at the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge. His research situates itself in the cluster of technology and society with attention to the politics of knowledge production in Africa, using Nigeria as a case study. Specifically, he is concerned with the forms of capital built through digital activism by human rights activists and influencers. Thus, his research seeks to explore digital activism through the interplay of power and participation on social media. To ground his research, he focuses on three social media movements that have marked Nigeria’s digital civil advocacy in the last decade - #OccupyNigeria (2012), #BringBackOurGirls (2014), and #EndSARS (2020). Through his research, Muhammed hopes to critically examine and contribute to existing epistemological frameworks around the use of social media and citizenship in Nigeria and Africa at large.


Muhammed’s PhD research builds on his MSc Studies at Oxford’s Africa Studies Centre, where he did an online ethnographic study that engaged the practices of Nigerian Twitter influencers as a case study to explain the opportunities and challenges of the digital economy in Nigeria and Africa. He explored the nature of online work by influencers through the theories of affective labour and identity entrepreneurship, thereby contributing new insights into the influencer culture on Nigerian Twitter. His research won the 2022 Terence Ranger Prize for the best dissertation in Africa Studies.


Before Oxford, Muhammed had completed an MPhil programme at the Centre of Development Studies, Cambridge. His research focused on the political economy of the internet and social media in Africa and how they reproduce racial power relations. As a case study, he researched embedded algorithmic biases in the technologies adopted as part of the 2016 Johannesburg’s ‘Safe City’ initiative, which was a continuation of the 2003 Johannesburg City Safety Strategy (JCSS). His findings concluded that the discussion of ‘Africa technological leapfrogging’ might sometimes obscure pathways for digital industrialisation in Africa.


Muhammed did his undergraduate studies in Sociology at the University of Ibadan, where he graduated as the best student in the Faculty of the Social Sciences, winning 14 awards in all.


Besides his research experience, Muhammed has worked in the Public Sector for two years as a Press & Public Relations Assistant at the Lagos State Governor’s Parastatals Monitoring Office (PMO). He has also worked as a Government and External Relations Executive for a leading sustainability-focused NGO in West Africa.

Research Interests

  • digital sociology
  • sociology of knowledge
  • digital economy
  • online ethnography
  • qualitative methodologies
  • social theory
  • media ethics
  • critical data & media studies
  • media theory
  • mediation
  • sociology of human rights
  • sociology of data
  • international development
  • technology policy;


Tutorials – Principles of Sociology (SOC 101), Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Ibadan (2017-2019).


Tutorials - Introduction to Social Institutions (SOC 103), Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Ibadan (2017-2019).

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Abdullahi Tunde Aborode, Emmanuel Adebowale Fajemisin, Emmanuel Ademola Aiyenuro, Muhammed Tobiloba Alakitan, Matthew Olaide Ariwoola, Jegede Oluwatoyin Imisioluwa, Raheemt Rafiu, & Alexiou, A. (2022). Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa: Special Focus on Control Strategies. Combinatorial Chemistry & High Throughput Screening, 25(14), 2387–2390.

Key Publications - Other

Gboyega Salvador-Adebayo, Lekan Ogunbanwo, Rafiu Babatunde Kassim, Muhammed Tobiloba Alakitan (2014). Directory of Parastatal Organisations and Government Owned Companies & General Hospitals in Lagos State- April 2014 | Request PDF. (2014). ResearchGate; ResearchGate.

PhD Supervisor

Dr Ella McPherson

Research Groups & Affiliations


Terence Ranger Prize for an Outstanding Dissertation - Issued by African Studies Centre, University of Oxford · Jul 2022

Faculty Prize - Issued by University of Ibadan · Nov 2019
An annual prize awarded by the Senate on the recommendation of the Faculty board, to the best final-year student.

The Okediji Memorial Prize in Sociology – Issued by Department of Sociology, University of · Nov 2019
An annual prize awarded to the best final-year student in Sociology.

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