Dr David Beer



  • MA, PhD (York)
  • BSc (Bradford)

David studied for a BSc in Sociology and Social Psychology at the University of Bradford between 1995 and 1998.

In 2001 he returned to university and studied for an MA in the Sociology of Contemporary Culture at York. He then stayed on at York to complete his PhD on the digitalisation of music culture between 2002 and 2006.

After a year working as ESRC 'translational' Research Fellow on the e-Society programme he took up a post as Senior Lecturer and Head of Programme for Communication at York St John University.

In the Autumn of  2008 he returned to the University of York as Lecturer in Sociology. In October 2011 he was promoted to Senior Lecturer and in October 2015 he became Reader. He teaches predominantly in the areas of the culture, media and social theory.

David is a member of the editorial boards of Theory, Culture & SocietyCultural Sociology, Big Data & Society, and the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies. In addition to this he is co-editor of the Theory, Culture & Society open site. He was previously an associate board member for the journal Sociology (2010-2013), on the editorial board of the International Journal of Market Research (2013-2014) and reviews editor for Information, Communication & Society (2012-2014).

You can find out more about his work at his website davidbeer.net



You can read about the type of sociological research that I'm currently developing in this short open access piece on 'Sociology's dual horizons' . Some of the themes covered in that piece are also developed in more detail in my book Punk Sociology (the first chapter of which is available open access here and you can read an interview relating to the book here). This book attempted to draw upon a punk ethos in order to provoke and reanimate the sociological imagination.

In very general terms though I work in the areas of culture, media, social theory and digital methods. I have tended to focus upon exploring the material and everyday aspects of culture from different perspectives. More specifically, much of my research has explored the intersections of new media and popular culture. This culminated in my recent book Popular Culture and New Media: The Politics of Circulation (again, the introduction to this book is available open access here and you can listen to me discussing the book here). This book attempted to understand how circulations of digital data reconfigure and shape contemporary culture. An earlier book, New Media: The Key Concepts, written with Nicholas Gane, brought together cutting-edge theories in new media to develop a set of conceptual resources for students and researchers to use in analyzing contemporary media forms.

Beyond this I have also written on mobile devices, music scenes, smart cities, recording studios, social media, celebrity gossip and music genre, amongst other things. I also have a strong interest in digital sociology and the future of the discipline. I have done some work on digital methods and I'm interested in further expanding the repertoire of the social sciences through the opportunities presented by new forms of social data.

At the moment I am currently developing my earlier work on the politics of data circulations and the social life of data and taking this in to explorations of cultural politics, power and governance. This more recent work has been developed in my book Metric Power, which will be published in the summer of 2016.


Selected publications

You can find an up-to-date list of his publications along with links and other information about his work at his website davidbeer.net

Dave Beer

Contact details

Dr David Beer
Department of Sociology
University of York
Wentworth College
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 323049