Digital Sociology

“History is, strictly speaking, the study of questions; the study of answers belongs to anthropology and sociology.” — W. H. Auden

Digital Sociology

Digital interaction technologies are changing the way that humans interact both in the physical and digital worlds.

Whilst humans are still humans, the fundamental characteristics of digital systems mean that these interactions are different — they are instantaneous, they are global and they are ubiquitous. We have systems and processes built for the physical world, and, whilst many of these principles still hold a new way of thinking is needed. I believe that this can only be achieved by going back to basics, by examining humans as humans and then placing them within the digital context.

This is what the emerging field of Digital Sociology is doing by bringing together the fields of anthropology, ethnography, psychology and sociology.

It is also the focus of Anni Rowland-Campbell’s company Intersticia. Visit Intersticia


Above: Technology, Culture and Society are intimately connected. Whilst technology and culture will always evolve and progress, society will act as a restraint, in order to guard against behaviours and activities which threaten the group’s survival. By necessity society is cautious, risk averse and traditional, but eventually technology and culture will shift it in the direction they are headed, and thus the polity must continually reinvent itself.

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MSc in Digital Anthropology — University College London

Digital technologies have become ubiquitous. From Facebook, Youtube and Flickr to PowerPoint, Google Earth and Second Life. Museum displays migrate to the internet, family communication in the Diaspora is dominated by new media, artists work with digital films and images. Anthropology and ethnographic research is fundamental to understanding the local consequences of these innovations, and to create theories that help us acknowledge, understand and engage with them. Contact: Dr. Lane DeNicola

Journal of Material Culture

MA/MSc in Digital Sociology — Goldsmiths, University of London

This innovative Master’s is a collaborative programme across the Sociology and Computing Departments at Goldsmiths. The programme has been specifically designed to equip students for the analysis and enhancement of digital social life. The MA/MSc in Digital Sociology is an inter-disciplinary programme taught across the Sociology and Computing Departments, and is based in the centre for Creative and Social Technology (CAST). As part of this new research centre, students have access to state of the art facilities and emergent creative and social technologies.

University of Waterloo, Stratford Campus, Canada

Social Media Research Blog (Microsoft Research New England)

A team of social scientists and humanists who use qualitative methods like ethnography and content analysis to study a broad range of online technologies like social network sites, video games, blogs, online culture, mobile devices, news and activism, and more.

Xerox PARC

Xerox PARC Innovation Services
Xerox PARC Intelligent mobile computing

ESRC Digital Social Research

The DSR website is the primary multi-focal community portal for the project where researchers have access to a broad range of information about e-Social Science including funding calls, events, and emerging technologies.

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Key Authors

Genevieve Bell
Dana Boyd
Daniel Miller
Douglas Rushkoff
Clay Shirky
Lucy Suchmann

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Anni Rowland-Campbell

Anni Rowland-Campbell has always been interested in the interstice that exists between technology, culture and society. From her early studies in the history and philosophy of science, combined with Fine Arts, to her current work in the emerging web and digital governance, this theme has developed to what is is now being recognised as the field of “digital sociology”.

This online space is the beginning of formalising this work so that it can become a resource for others who are similarly interested, and will complement her professional and academic work in the area. More about Anni…

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Anni Rowland-Campbell
Intersticia Pty Ltd
ABN: 78 079 722 384
P.O. Box 1051, Crows Nest NSW 2065
Tel: +61 413 626 737

 Contact Anni through Linkedin
 Follow Anni on Twitter

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“The act of wrenching away an object or concept from its habitual associative context and seeing it in a new context is… an essential part of the creative process… Every creative act — in science, art or religion — involves a regression to a more primitive level, a new innocence of perception liberated from the cataract of accepted beliefs. It is a process of reculer pour mieux sauter, of disintegration preceding the new synthesis, comparable to the dark night of the soul through which the mystic must pass.” — Arthur Koestler, “The Sleepwalkers”