What can social science tell us about technology? Leading social scientists share their perspectives in this Social Science Bites special collection.
Gina Neff doesn’t approach smart devices as a Luddite or even that much of an alarmist; she bought first-generation Fitbit when they were brand new and virtually unknown (all of five years ago!). She approaches them as a sociologist, “looking at the practices of people who use digital devices to monitor, map and measure different aspects of their life.”
“Most people,” explains Goldsmiths sociologist Bev Skeggs in this Social Science Space podcast, “think they’re using Facebook to communicate with friends. Basically they’re using it to reveal how much they can be sold for, now and in the future, and how much their friends can be sold for.”
When looking at big data, says computational social scientist Gary King, “The data itself isn’t likely to be particularly useful; the question is whether you can make it useful.” In this Social Science Bites podcast, he explains more about the importance of data analysis.
It’s often remarked that technology has made the world a smaller place. While this has been especially true for those with the wherewithal to buy the latest gadget and to travel at will, but it’s also true for economic migrants. Those technological ties are one of the key research interests of Mirca Madianou who discusses her work on transnational families and social media in the latest Social Science Bites podcast.