Dr James Allen-Robertson

Department of Sociology
Dr James Allen-Robertson
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872273

  • Location

    6.330, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    10:00 - 12:00 Fridays



Digital Sociologist interested in the relationship between humans and technology, digital cultures, and in the development of new digital methods using data science. James joined Essex in 2013 after working an administrative position with the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge. Whilst with the Faculty he set up theCambridge-INET Instituteas its founding Administrator, and managed the faculty's research grants and submission to REF 2014.James completed his BA in Sociology at the University of York in 2007. He went on to complete an MA in Social Research (2008) and his PhD (2011) funded by an ESRC 1+3 Studentship.


  • BA Sociology (2007)

  • MA Social Research Methods (2008)

  • PhD - Digital Culture Industry (2011)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Algorithmic Power

Open to supervise

Web Scraping

Open to supervise

Text Mining

Open to supervise

Digital Cultures

Open to supervise

Software Studies

Open to supervise

Hacker Subcultures

Open to supervise

The Dark Web

Open to supervise

Science and Technology Studies

Open to supervise

Digital Piracy

Open to supervise

Current research

our relationship with emerging technologies, with a particular focus on algorithmic agency

software's impact on everyday life and the innovative use of data science methods

digital culture

disruptive technologies

digital research methods

Conferences and presentations

The Uber Game: Exploring Algorithmic Managment and Resistance

Networked Publics: Association of Internet Researchers 2017, Tartu, Estonia, 21/10/2017

October 2015 - ' The Materiality of Digital Media' presented at the Association of Internet Researchers (AOIR) Annual Conference (IR16), Phoenix Arizona - USA


June 2014 - 'Music Mashups: Creative Consumption and Cultures of Constant Reference', presented at 'Creating Cultures', Kings College London


November 2013 - 'Competing with Free: Lessons from the History of Digital Distribution', presented at 'Online Cultural Consumers and Museums Symposium'. Kings College London


September 2011 - Internet Archives & Documentary Analysis, presented at A Decade in Internet Time: Symposium on the Dynamics of the Internet and Society.The Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.



Journal articles (4)

Allen-Robertson, J., (2018). Critically assessing digital documents: materiality and the interpretative role of software. Information, Communication and Society. 21 (11), 1732-1746

Di Ronco, A., Allen-Robertson, J. and South, N., (2018). Representing environmental harm and resistance on Twitter: The case of the TAP pipeline. Crime, Media, Culture, 174165901876010-174165901876010

Allen-Robertson, J., (2017). The materiality of digital media: The hard disk drive, phonograph, magnetic tape and optical media in technical close-up. New Media & Society. 19 (3), 455-470

Allenā€Robertson, J. and Beer, D., (2010). Mobile Ideas: Tracking a Concept through Time and Space. Mobilities. 5 (4), 529-545

Books (1)

Allen-Robertson, J., (2013). Digital Culture Industry. Palgrave Macmillan UK. 9781349441501

Book chapters (1)

Di Ronco, A. and Allen-Robertson, J., Activism against medicine on social media: untangling the #novax protest in Italy on Twitter. In: Medical Misinformation and Social harm in Non-Science Based Health Practices: A Multidisciplinary Perspective. Editors: Lavorgna, A. and Di Ronco, A., . Routledge

Conferences (1)

Di Ronco, A. and Allen-Robertson, J., Activism against medicine on social media: untangling the #novax protest in Italy on Twitter

Grants and funding


The representation of environmental protest Online and Offline

British Academy


Human Rights and Information Technology in the Era of Big Data

Economic & Social Research Council

+44 (0) 1206 872273


6.330, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

10:00 - 12:00 Fridays