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. He teaches predominantly in the areas of the sociology of culture, popular culture, contemporary sociology, digital sociology and social theory.
He currently runs a blog called Thinking Culture
He is on the editorial board of Information, Communication & Society and the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies. He is also an associate board member for the journal Sociology (2010-2013).
In very broad terms my research focuses upon four interrelated themes:
In general terms my work focuses upon the material and everyday aspects of culture. Within this, my particular focus has been upon popular forms of culture. This focus has led to work that explores the intersections between culture and media and has been explored through work on contemporary music cultures, mobile devices, and a range of other forms of popular consumption and cultural production. My recent project on the role of the recording engineer provides a specific example of my work on cultural production. My work on culture has been concerned with opening-up culture, and popular culture, to alternative analytical resources from interdisciplinary perspectives. This work culminated in the recently completed book Popular Culture and New Media: The Politics of Circulation (2013). This book develops conceptual resources aimed at understanding culture in the context of a changing media infrastructure.
Much of my work on media explores the points at which it intersects with culture in the context of everyday life. The above book explores these intersections in detail. My work on media also extends beyond my interest in culture. I have written articles that explore the power of software algorithms in shaping everyday lives, places and experiences. I have been interested in how data flows have come to constitute various aspects of the social world. This work has tended to unravel the materiality of new media infrastructures and their social affects. I have written on RFID and other embedded and thinking technologies. My work on new media also includes the co-authored book New Media: The Key Concepts (2008, written with Nicholas Gane). This book looks at the migration of concepts between disciplines and focuses in detail upon six concepts for analysing new media. This book translates cutting edge media theory and develops a set of resources for thinking about and problematizing new media.
Social and cultural theory
I have also had a long term interest in social and cultural theory. My first journal article was an interview, with Nick Gane, on the future of social theory. I tend to explore these conceptual ideas through my substantive areas of interest. I have attempted to draw upon interdisciplinary resources in order to do this - I have drawn in the past upon conceptual resources from political philosophy, human geography, media theory, cultural studies, urban theory, and feminist theory, amongst others. I have worked with a range of concepts and ideas from thinkers that are spread across these disciplines. Indeed, part of the focus of my work has been to adapt and apply various theorists or concepts in studying culture and media. This is something I intend to explore more directly over the next couple of years.
Methods, empiricism and the future of social and cultural research
I am interested in the history and future of social and cultural research. A key strand of my recent work has explored the potential of popular culture for helping us to expand the methodological, conceptual and communicative repertoire of the social sciences. There have been two sides to this work. The first explored the presence of the sociological imagination within popular culture. I've used various examples that demonstrate the density and form of the sociological imagination in this; including TV Drama, Hip Hop music, web cultures, amongst others. The second side of this work has explored the potential problems and opportunities presented by new forms of digital by-product data. This work has looked at the way that digital social data accumulate, what form these data take and how they might be used by social and cultural researchers.