Dr Vince Miller

Reader in Sociology and Cultural Studies
+44 (0)1227 827586


Dr Vincent Miller is a reader in Sociology and Cultural Studies in the SSPSSR and is an active researcher, writer, and teacher in the inter-disciplinary areas of digital culture/new media studies, social theory and cultural/social/urban spatial studies. Dr Miller completed his PhD in Sociology at Lancaster University (under John Urry and Bulent Diken) and his BA and MA in Geography at the University of Alberta, Canada.

Research interests

Dr Miller's research interests follow three broad themes:

  • Digital Culture, media and ‘new media’: Dr Miller's most prominent area of publication is in the area of critical digital culture studies. He has published work on how the development of social media within a capitalist context has exaggerated certain forms of communication, communion and social interactions, producing a ‘phatic’ media culture. I have also written more existentially-inspired work on ethics, vulnerability and the ‘crisis of presence’ in contemporary digital culture. More recent projects have been focussed on ‘digital ruins’ and the internet as a space of waste and abandonment, and I am now interested on work on how technologies such as mental health apps help to co-construct the self.
  • Social theory: Dr Miller also publishes and teaches social theory, although much of his work on digital culture and space is theoretically-driven (such as existential work on online ethics), he has also produced theoretical work on ‘vagueness’ and social life (inspired by pragmatism), and is currently interested in ‘contagion’, ‘Imitation’ and ‘memetic’ theories of social change and human behaviour. This has been articulated in recent work on vehicle ramming and viral challenge memes.
  • Social/urban/spatial studies: Through his background in social geography and urban studies, Dr Miller has also has research interests and publications that are more spatially-focussed. His early work focussed on urban social fragmentation and ‘enclaves’, and how such spaces achieve (or don’t achieve) meaning for the people associated with them (especially in a mediatised, mobile world). In that sense he critiques some space-identity theory through more phenomenological and pragmatic approaches to the urban experience. This has also let to work on the notion of ‘resonance’ as an under-recognised element of the experience of social life. He also has interests in retailing, consumption and high street issues.  


Dr Miller is on study leave in 2021/22, but normally teaches:

  • SO657 Digital Culture
  • SO712 Urban Sociology

He teaches a few lectures on SO335 Contemporary Culture, and sometimes convenes SO883 Contemporary Social Theory.


Dr Miller welcomes PhD candidates with an interest in digital work on affect, contagion, imitation, memes, digital labour, ruins and abandonment, and social media more generally. He is also interested in urban work on gentrification, high street revitalisation, and community.



In 2010, Dr Miller was hired as a consultant speaker by London-based marketing company Skyrite to discuss the potential of social media to a large group of marketers and well-known brands. 

In 2006, he worked on a consultancy project, with French telecom company Orange, to investigate the phenomenon of blogging. 


Dr Miller has been a frequent peer reviewer for ESRC funding applications, primarily on urban studies-related applications, and he has refereed articles for many journals including: The British Journal of Sociology; The European Journal of Social Theory; Ethnicities; Space & Culture; Convergence: The International Journal for Research into New Media Technologies; Continuum: The Journal of Media and Cultural Studies; and Social & Cultural Geography. 


Dr Miller has appeared on a number of radio programmes, including BBC’s The Today Programme and Nightwaves, Irish radio and local Kent radio (KMFM). 

In 2009, he appeared in two learning documentaries (“ICT’s and Business”, and “ICT’s and Society”) for the production company TV Choice and also here: 

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