Dr Vince Miller

Head of School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Reader in Sociology and Cultural Studies

About

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 focus on four broad themes:

  • The information society, media and new media
    Political economy of new media and the concept of 'digital capitalism', 'intimacy', 'friendship' and 'communication', the construction of relationships and presentation of self in the post-modern information age and how these are mediated through digital technologies such as the internet and mobile phones. One result of this work has been his discussion that new media technologies, and in particular social networking and microblogging sites, are a symptom of the development of a 'phatic' media culture. 
  • Social theory of space
    His work has been influenced by Henri Lefebvre, Foucault and Harvey, but he has been investigating ways to integrate the sociological phenomenology of Alfred Schutz (and other approaches influenced by pragmatism) into Lefevre's characterisation of 'spaces of representation', which he finds to be the most enigmatic part of his work. This has led him to build upon a notion of “vagueness” and the practices associated with it (such as wandering, rambling, borderless existence), as political activities that run counter to the hegemonic powers of modernity, opening up possibilities for other forms of space and practice. 
  • Belonging, community and forms of association
    This interest spans both broad interests in urbanism and ICT. In particular,he is looking at the ad hoc construction of “we”-ness which emphasises the phenomenology of “belonging” that takes place on a level between the “individual” and “community”, whether in the construction of urban place or in virtual spaces on the internet. He is writing and presenting papers on 'resonance' and 'presence'. 
  • Theories of urban social change and fragmentation
    The developing forms of 'gated' lifestyle, ethnic, religious and other enclave communities in contemporary urban space. The social impacts of networks, as well as intra-urban and inter-urban mobility (air travel, mobile classes, global cities) on individual identity, and community. 

Dr Miller's current focus is on the crisis of presence in contemporary society.   

Past research

Teaching

Dr Miller convenes the digital culture module. He also teaches on modules within other areas of the school, including Sociology (Research Methods), Cultural Studies , Criminology, and postgraduate (Secondary and Qualitative Research, Current Problems in Sociology and Contemporary Social Theory).  

Supervision

Dr Miller supervises PhD students on a variety of topics, largely within the areas of urban studies and digital culture.  Please contact him if you have a proposal in his areas of research.

Professional

Consultancy 

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. 

Refereeing 

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. 

Media 

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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