Pathway available at Bath, Bath Spa, Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth and UWE
A new pathway on social transformations and sustainable futures with and through digital technologies, including research with big data.
The Sociotechnical Futures & Digital Methods Pathway sits at the intersection between methodological advances and how related technologies continue to have a profound influence on social relations, government, commerce, health, education, and the economy. The pathway supports research both from the perspective of applying digital methods and technologies (including big data), qualitatively or quantitatively and perhaps with the backing of a collaborative partner, to address social issues, as well as from thinking critically about these technologies and their social impacts.
In the digital age, technologies and methods continue to change the way we live and the way we conduct research, communicate and engage. Organisations and societies are navigating new digital spaces that seamlessly connect our online and offline lives. Rapid changes to digital and physical infrastructures will continue, and the rise of the meta-verse is unstoppable. Regulatory bodies and technology developers face further challenges when it comes to understanding how people and societies relationship with technology can appear dualistic. For example, a single innovation (or sociotechnical future) can provide positive benefits for some while simultaneously creating new inequalities for others.
Sociotechnical developments also continue to inspire novel research directions in the social sciences. This can include the use of social media, smartphones, and sensors. When used successfully, both theoretical and applied contributions have supported the development of new technologies, public policy, and cemented the role social sciences can play when it comes to tackling the interdisciplinary challenges of our time. However, these developments have also amplified new challenges facing researchers when accessing, engaging, and sharing new and sensitive forms of digital data.