Research

Audiences, users and emerging technologies in communications research

I have a longstanding interest in empirical explorations of people's everyday engagement with media and evolving communication technologies. Beginning with empirical work with media audiences of a range of formats and genres, I have developed a particular focus on everyday experiences of, and emerging literacies with networked technologies with a growing interest in newer interfaces including the IoT and datafication, more generally. This work is located within my ongoing interest in users and audiences in my past projects, spanning a variety of media genres.

  1. My most recent work here is the 2019 FASS funded project Datafied Desires. This looks at the intersections of emerging technologies, data, AI and human sexualities and desires. 
  2. With funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, I directed CEDAR - Consortium on Emerging Directions in Audience research, where I led a 29 member research team with Brita Ytre-Arne. The team conducted a foresight analysis exercise on the future of audiences' engagement with media technologies in the context of the IOT and datafication in 2030. This work was funded by the AHRC, UK, and has led to a range of publications (please see publications section)
  3. My book with Brita Ytre-Arne - The Future of Audiences (2018)
  4. In the past, my work has included young people's digital literacies on social media
  5. People's reception of television and film genres
  6. Public reactions to 'offensive' television content (my new book Provocative Screens with Anne Graefer, Palgrave) and people's regulatory expectations,
  7. Conceptual developments in communication research in the transformation of audiences to users.

Parenthood, technologies and wellbeing

My current work is positioned as an interdisciplinary and policy-relevant space where media technologies, sociology, communication and cultural studies interface with parenthood, health and well-being. In this space, I converge my interests in media and evolving technologies, motherhood and fatherhood, family relationships, e-health and parent/patient discussion platforms, public engagement with families and healthcare policy. Please see the publications section for details of my writing in this area. You can also find my blogs on the topic on the Surrey Sociology Departmental Blog

This draws upon - 

  1. My Wellcome Trust project (2018-2019) on the health communication practice of South Asian migrant mothers with postnatal mental health difficulties
  2. My Surrey - FASS funded project with Paul Hodkinson on new fathers, mental wellbeing and social media technologies
  3. My just concluded British Academy project (2016-2018) investigating  digital technologies and women's peri-natal experiences in the UK - looking at apps, forums, social networking sites, vlogging sites and other areas 
  4. A forthcoming research monograph with Routledge on the above titled Early Motherhood in Digital Societies (Routledge, 2020), and related journal articles.