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Sociology Research



The research cluster's aim is to bring together academics from a range of backgrounds with an interest in technology and new media in order to explore and discuss recent and ongoing research. 

We welcome all students (undergraduate and postgraduate), staff, and visiting scholars to attend and participate in any/all sessions. We especially would like to emphasise multidisciplinary collaboration, not only between departments of the University of Cambridge, but with other universities. As such, most of our events will be hybrid – available both online and offline.


Academic Year 2023-24

Michaelmas Term 2023

Knowing your Place: Intersectionality in Online Feminist Culture

Tuesday 7 November 2023 17:00-18:00 | S1, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, CB3 9DT

Speaker: Dr Akane Kanai (Monash University)

Drawing on several empirical projects on online feminism, this paper examines how intersectionality is used in contemporary online feminist cultures. Beyond an analytic for understanding simultaneously occurring difference, Dr Kanai will discuss how it also increasingly becomes a means of ordering, classifying, and locating one’s place in economies of privilege and disadvantage.

Click here for further information.


Surprising Uses of Dating Apps in Times of Emergency: Lessons Learned from the Covid Sex Lives Project

Monday 30th October 2023 17:00-18:00 | The Board Room, Department of Sociology, Free School Lane

Speakers: Dr Rachel Katz, Dr Lisa Garwood-Cross, Prof. Ben Light (University of Salford)

Dating apps serve a multifaceted role in contemporary society, including the circulation of public health information from organisations and governments. Dr Rachel Katz, Dr Lisa Garwood-Cross, and Prof. Ben Light (University of Salford) will delve into the experiences of ‘men who have sex with men’ and their use of dating apps during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will discuss the challenges of such apps as sites of public health messaging, explore the efficacy of Covid-safe sexual health narratives, and analyse the alternate social and sexual cultures that arose in that context.

Click here for further information.


Academic Year 2022-23

Supported by Cambridge Digital Humanities in 22-23, the cluster covered a wide range of research topics including digital labour, digital media cultures, organised movements on social media, media representations, and media audiences. An overarching theme of all events was to critically address the implications for society and social theory that result from empirical observations of change.  Innovative work that explores new methodologies and/or under-studied aspects of digital platforms was promoted.

The cluster hosted three types of sessions: discussions (members discussed a stimulating piece of research), presentations (members presented ongoing research or recently published pieces), and speakers sessions (speakers from other institutions were invited to discuss their work).

Easter Term 2023

Vulnerability and Control: Queer Men Using Smartphones to Negotiate Their Cultures of Intimacy with Dr Jamie Hakim (King’s College London) 

Thursday 4th May 17:00-18:30 @ SG2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Rd and Online 
Dr Jamie Hakim (King’s College London) will discuss queer men’s use of smartphones to negotiate their culture of intimacy, locating such practises in a historical conjuncture consumed by ‘poly-crisis’ (Tooze, 2021) and defined by a desire for ‘control’. He will consider the politics and ethics of this desire for control, and argue that both conjunctural analysis and research on digital intimacies are mutually enriched when put in conversation with each other.  More information and register here.

Hierarchies of Hate: The History and Context of Online Disinformation with Prof. Shakuntala Banaji (LSE)

Monday 15th May 17:00-18:00 @ Syndics Room, 17 Mill Ln. and Online 
Connecting half a decade of empirical research into the circulation of disinformation and misinformation about minoritised and racialised groups in countries as disparate as Brazil, India, Myanmar, and the U.K. with histories of colonial and caste violence, Prof. Shakuntala Banaji (LSE) examines the intersectional politics of hate online through close textual analysis and interviews with experts in the field.  More information and register here.

Platform Labour with Dr Niels van Doorn (University of Amsterdam) 

Monday 22nd May 14:00-15:00 Online 

Details to be announced soon; keep an eye out on our Twitter (@CamTechMedia) or join our mailing list.


Lent Term 2023

Meet-and-greet lunch 

Weds 8th February 12:30-14:00 in the Open Basement area of the David Williams Building (Law Faculty, Sidgwick Site).

Network with peers from other disciplines who share an interest in technology and new media research, and have your say on the agenda for other sessions. Refreshments will be provided.


Work-in-Progress sessions:

Performing Political Neutrality in Digital Democracy Projects

Friday 3rd March 12:00-13:00 @ Syndics Room, 17 Mill Lane.

Civic technology projects try to create non-political online tools. This… isn’t easy. Creating data about parliaments and governments is hard to do without bringing along the political context that creates that data. In this short talk, Alex Blandford (Oxford) will look at the ways that data is made, and the anxieties about its use, creation, reuse, and ownership.


Communication in Criminal Governance: The Role of Digital Tools

Friday 10th March 13:00-14:00 @ Syndics Room, 17 Mill Lane.

In Latin America, millions of urban residents live under some form of extra-legal governance. Daniel Rincon-Machon (Cambridge) will talk about how looking at digital communication may help us understand the capacity of criminal groups to enforce social order. He will discuss how the literature on criminal governance can be put into conversation with concepts developed in media studies, and his research plans to study this phenomenon both online and offline



Twitter (@camtechmedia) here, Facebook (Facebook group and Facebook page) or subscribe to the mailing list

For more information, please email the conveners – Sophie Mary ( and Marisa Tangeman (