bridges over the River Clyde in Glasgow at night

About us

We do research into the dynamics of digital society, examining how digital technologies (services, devices, networks) shape and intersect with social, political and cultural change.

Our multidisciplinary academics work with a network of organisations, interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners around the world. This collaborative approach helps us to challenge western perspectives on culture and society. 

We aim to reshape the global agenda on social and digital change.

Our research

We use change as a lens through which we examine the dynamic connections between contemporary digital and social worlds.

Our holistic approach reveals inequalities in adaptation and resistance to social and digital change.

Knowledge production is changing in the digital age, and part of our remit is to shape the positioning of university research in the wider knowledge environment. Our wider agenda is to improve social digital research. 

Our four research themes map an ecology of social and digital change:

  1. Knowledge and voice: media, science, and culture
  2. Power, inequality, and justice
  3. Conflict, security, and governance
  4. Digital economy and the environment

Find out more about our research.

 


Study with us

PhD study

Our members supervise PhD candidates in a wide range of fields. Browse our membership list and contact the individual academic to find out more about possible supervision in your area of interest.

Masters

We are developing an MSc in Digital Society and Social Change which will be available from 2020. It will pioneer an innovative agenda for learning in the digital age.

Other related Masters options include our MSc Media, Communications and International Journalism.

Browse the University course catalogue for more ideas.

If you'd like to find out more about studying options please contact us.


In context

Current trends such as robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence (AI) mean that digital is constantly present in our social relations.

Digital relations are embedded in the entire spectrum of personal, political, economic, and cultural areas of society. But, as with any period of rapid social and technological shifts, there is also a struggle between continuity and change, adaptation and resistance, hope and despair. 

As individuals we constantly encounter, adapt, adopt and shape new forms of connectivity, and automation, as well as the digital mundane. Participatory culture affords us a sense of power as individuals, but our traditional reliance on media for the enhancement of social life is challenged through new dependencies.

Academics have studied the relationship between media and society for many decades, in different and sometimes separate disciplinary domains including sociology, media and cultural studies, and computer sciences.

After several decades of relative separation, academic fields and approaches have begun to converge. This may be in response to the entanglement of digital media, technologies, platforms and data, and the everyday.

We still struggle to capture the dynamics of a series of rapid revolutions in digital life.

Our group is unique in recognising social and digital change as the essence of these revolutions and their effects and counter-effects. Using change as a lens offers a perspective that is historical and ecological, while recognising the uneven, unequal, and often unsimultaneous nature of social and digital change.

Our activities cross subject areas including sociology, education, urban studies, media and cultural policy, film and television studies, history, music, theatre, politics, international relations, computing science, information studies, business, and law.


Our history

The Glasgow Social and Digital Change Group was founded in 2019 by a group of academics based at the University of Glasgow. Members come from all areas of the University structure to participate in our multidisciplinary activities.

The University of Glasgow reached a critical mass of research and teaching relating to social and digital society, media and culture around 2015, and since then the University has invested in several new posts dedicated to digital society, sociology, digital journalism, urban data, and social data science.

The University hosts several centres of excellence which engage in their own unique ways with digital society, culture, and methods.

These include: