Accessibility statement

Raphaël Nowak



  • PhD (Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)
  • MA (University of Sciences and Technologies, Lille, France)
  • BSc (University of Sciences and Technologies, Lille, France)

Before joining the University of York in June 2021, I held a teaching fellow position at the University of Bristol (Bristol, UK; 2015-2016), a postdoctoral fellowship at Griffith University (Brisbane, Australia; 2017-2020), and a teaching and research fellow position at Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris, France; 2020-2021).

My research is in digital, cultural, and music sociology. I am particularly interested in the issue of ‘cultural value’, which I approach by conducting research on (1) uses of music streaming services, (2) cultural tastes and practices, and (3) popular music heritage.



I am a cultural sociologist. My initial research interest was in the downloading of digital music files. I wrote an MA dissertation about young people’s practices of music downloading (University of Lille, 2006-2007), followed by a dissertation for my MA Research dissertation on practices of music consumption (University of Lille, 2007-2008). I continued on the similar research path for my PhD studies at Griffith University (2009-2012), when I interviewed 30 Generation Y individuals about their modes of music consumption. This research was later updated with another set of interviews and published in the form of a book entitled Consuming Music in the Digital Age (Palgrave, 2016).

In parallel, I have conducted research on issues regarding the materiality of digital objects and on cultural transformations as mediated by digital technologies. I co-edited with Andrew Whelan in 2014 a special of the online journal First Monday on the 15-year anniversary of Napster. We went on to co-edit a book entitled Networked Music Cultures (Palgrave, 2016), which explores critical trends in the development of digital music technologies.  

I have also collaborated on research on diverse aspects of popular music heritage. I published with Sarah Baker and Lauren Istvandity a book entitled Curating Pop (Bloomsbury, 2019), which analyses curatorial practices of popular music heritage within museums. In 2022, I published Music Sociology with Routledge (co-authored with Andy Bennett). The book reviews key contemporary issues in the field and brings forward critical ideas regarding digital technologies, aesthetics, taste, mediations, and music heritage. In 2023, I co-authored with Sarah Baker and Zelmarie Cantillon a book entitled Popular Music Heritage, Cultural Justice and the Deindustrialising City, which critically assesses the possibility for popular heritage practices to represent the voices of disenfranchised communities.  

As of 2024, I am working on issues regarding cultural practices and the value of music.

I have published in the journals Cultural Sociology, The European Journal of Cultural Studies, The Journal of Cultural Research, The British Journal of Sociology, Cultural Trends, Popular Communication, Leisure Sciences, and The International Journal of Heritage Studies.


Selected publications

Below are my publications since 2020. For more details about my publications, see my Google Scholar profile


Baker, S., Cantillon, Z. and Nowak, R. (2023). Popular Music Heritage, Cultural Justice and the Deindustrialising City, Cambridge University Press

Nowak, R. and Bennett, A. (2022). Music Sociology. Value, Technology, and Identity, London: Routledge. 


Whelan, A. and Nowak, R., (2023). Genre work: "How" vs "what" questions in the sociology of music culture. Sociological Review, 71(3), 491-507 

Glevarec, H. and Nowak, R., (2022). Déclarer son goût musical. Codage et analyse d’une question ouverte sur les préférences des Français. SociologieS, 1-42 

Glevarec, H. and Nowak, R., (2022). La compétence culturelle. Pour un modèle socio-culturelle de la catégorisation musicale. Terrains/Théories, 15, 1-38

Nichols, E., Pavlidis, A. & Nowak, R. (2021). “It’s like Lifting the Power”: Powerlifting, Digital Gendered Subjectivities, and the Politics of Multiplicity, Leisure Sciences, 1-20.

Haynes, J., & Nowak, R. (2021). We were never cool: Investigating knowledge production and discourses of cool in the sociology of music, The British Journal of Sociology, 72(2), 448-462.

Cantillon, Z., Baker, S., & Nowak, R. (2021). A cultural justice approach to popular music heritage in deindustrialising cities, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 27(1), 73-89.

Glevarec, H., Nowak, R., and Mahut, D. (2020). ‘Tastes of our times: Analysing age cohort effects in the contemporary distribution of music tastes’, Cultural Trends, 29(3), 182-98.

Baker, S., Istvandity, L. and Nowak, R. (2020). ‘Curatorial practice in popular music museums: An emerging typology of structuring concepts’, European Journal of Cultural Studies, 23(3), 434-53.

Nowak, R. and Bennett, A. (2020). Music consumption and technological eclecticism: Investigating Generation Y’s Adoption and Uses of Music Technologies’, Young, 28(4), 347-62.

Book chapters

Glevarec, H. and Nowak, R. (2023). 'Structure and historicity of youth music tastes: A brief overview of forty years of theoretical debates', in The Bloomsbury Handbook of Popular Music and Youth Culture, Bloomsbury.

Nowak, R. (2023). 'Youth, identity and everyday sound environments in the age of digital technologies', in The Bloomsbury Handbook of Popular Music and Youth Culture, Bloomsbury.

Nowak, R. (2022). 'Curating listening: The cultural production of a (commercial) experience', in Remaking Culture and Music Spaces: Affects, Infrastructures, Futures, Routledge.

Nowak, R. (2022). 'Mobile listening cultures', in The Bloomsbury Handbook of Popular Music, Space and Place, Bloomsbury.

Nowak, R. and Morgan, B. (2021). ‘New model, same old stories? Reproducing narratives of democratization in music streaming debates’, in Participatory Approaches to Music and Democracy, Chicago University Press.

Nowak, R. (2021). ‘The intricate relationship between music and the sharing economy’, in A Modern Guide to the Urban Sharing Economy, Edward Elgar Publishing. 

Cantillon, Z., Baker, S., and Nowak, R. (2021). ‘Music heritage, cultural justice and the Steel City Archiving and curating popular music history in Wollongong, Australia’, in Music and Heritage: New Perspectives on Place-making and Sonic Identity, Taylor and Francis.

Baker, S., Nowak, R., Long, P., Collins, J. and Cantillon, Z. (2020). ‘Community well-being, post-industrial music cities and the turn to popular music heritage’, in Music Cities, Palgrave.


Other teaching

In the Sociology Department, I teach in various modules at all levels (Y1, Y2, Y3, MA) in social theory, research methods, and cultural sociology.

Contact details

Dr Raphaël Nowak
Department of Sociology LMB/231
University of York
YO10 5GD