About

I am a sociologist, working as a Research Associate in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow. The ‘Papers’ page contains links to my publications, conference presentations, PhD thesis, and other outputs. You can use the links in the menu under About to find my staff profile page and my profiles on various other websites.

Alongside providing an up-to-date list of my publications, I use this website as an ‘open notebook’ that exists in two halves. The main Constellations WordPress blog, which is also the homepage for the website, and a ‘Mini’ Constellations Tumblr blog, accessible from the links bar at the top.

The Tumblr blog I have maintained since 2010, originally under the name ‘The Poverty of Theory’. It is used for smaller posts, such as quotes, short asides, and links to podcasts & articles relating my research interests and sociology more generally. The main blog is used for longer posts and updates about events and publications.

My interests span homes & other dwelling spaces, social security, mental health, and post-philosophical sociology. The later was used by Richard Kilminster to describe the work of Norbert Elias and his refusal to accept any requirement to provide a philosophical foundation for sociology nor set undue limits on the areas it can investigate. Post-philosophical sociology often takes a theoretical-empirical approach, that resists treating theory and research as separate domains of activity. Instead, it seeks to develop theoretical thinking tools through putting them to work in research.

I also think there is a need for greater critical reflection on current digital tools and methods. In particular, I believe the lack of a regularly maintained open source qualitative data analysis package is a serious barrier against innovation.

In my spare time I am working on a side-project ‘Pythia’. The aim in the short-term is to have a working GUI for coding interview transcripts and querying data. Longer-term, I hope Pythia can become a library for tasks common in qualitative data analysis that can be used by itself or as a shared code base for developing additional tools.

Being a notebook, no posts are meant to be to any academic standard, and, as with most academic blogs, are instead an outlet for thinking at various stages of development. Obviously, the usual disclaimers apply that all views expressed are my own and not those of any project, department, or university that I am based with. Similarly, despite having spent nearly two decades within the education system my spelling and grammar remain wanting; so apologies in advance for any errors you may come across.