Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1600 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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Lurking as Digital Literacy Practice
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We all sometimes ‘lurk’ in online spaces without posting or engaging, just reading the posts and comments. But neither reading nor lurking are ever passive acts. In fact, readers of social media are making decisions and taking grassroots actions on multiple dimensions.

Unpacking this understudied phenomenon, this book challenges the conventional perspective of what counts as participatory online culture. Presenting lurking as a communication and literacy practice that resists dominant power structures, it offers an innovative approach to digital qualitative methods.

Unique and original in its subject, this is a call for internet researchers to broaden their methods to include lurkers’ participation and presence.

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Exploring Trust in Justice

The pandemic has significantly impacted people's engagement with the administrative justice system (AJS). As we navigate the post-pandemic era, the siloed landscape of tribunals, ombuds, advice services and NGOs face the challenge of maintaining trust in the justice system's fairness, efficacy and inclusivity.

Examining the journeys individuals undertake to seek justice in housing and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), this book sheds light on how these institutions adapted to remote service provision.

Written by key names in the field, this important contribution uncovers valuable insights for digitalization efforts and offers concrete recommendations for improving pathways to justice.

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Animation, the Body, and Affect
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Computational media govern our experiences by externalizing our knowledge and memories, mining data from our behaviour to influence our decision-making and creating emotionally rewarding and sensory pleasures. But does that mean human perception is becoming a product of human-machine symbiosis in this new media ecology?

This ground-breaking collection explores the ways in which digital information technologies form and influence human perception and experience. Examining the relationship between technological reductionism and the body, it takes on board discursive perspectives from the humanities and brings digital media, affect and body studies into conversation with one another.

Written by pioneering authors in the field, this book expands our understanding of human perception, animation, technology and the body.

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Ethical Perspectives

EPUB and EPDF available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

We tend to hold people responsible for their choices, but not for what they can’t control: their nature, genes or biological makeup.

This thought-provoking collection redefines the boundaries of moral responsibility. It shows how epigenetics reveals connections between our genetic make-up and our environment. The essays challenge established notions of human nature and the nature/nurture divide and suggest a shift in focus from individual to collective responsibility.

Uncovering the links between our genetic makeup, environment and experiences, this is an important contribution to ongoing debates on ethics, genetics and responsibility.

Open access
How and Where Technologies Are Made Ordinary
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Digital services, platforms and arrangements are often promoted as smooth and convenient, smart or intelligent. When introduced, devices can appear utterly fascinating or awkward, even disquieting. Eventually, however, they soon disappear in the muddle of everyday life. This is how Mundania takes form.

Based on original research, this book uses the concept of mundania to better understand technological change. Scholar-artist Robert Willim deftly unpacks the interplay between everyday life and the immense complexity of technological infrastructures.

Offering imaginative new insights into our relationship with technology, this book will appeal to readers in a range of fields from science and technology and media studies to the arts.

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Death studies typically focus on the death of humans, overlooking the wider factors involved in social and natural processes around death.

This edited volume provides an alternative focus for death studies by looking beyond human death, to reveal the complex interconnections among human and more than human creatures, entities and environments.

Bringing together a diverse range of international scholars, the book sheds light on topics which have previously remained at the margins of contemporary death studies and death care cultures.

Organised around three themes – Knowledge and Mediation, Care and Remembrance, and Agency and Power – this book pushes the boundaries of death studies to explore death and dying from beyond the perspective of a nature/culture binary.

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Urban Data Politics in Times of Crisis

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence

Drawing on the study of different cities in the Global South, this book explores how the intensive use of data changes politics, power relations and everyday life in contemporary cities.

Across the volume, expert contributors show how urban actors, from the state to activists, are increasingly using data as a resource to empower their actions and support their claims and shows how times of crisis are moments when the power of data is made visible.

Focusing on the different dimensions of data power and politics in the urban realm, this is an important contribution to our understanding of how datafication transforms the places in which we live and how we experience them.

Open access
How Surveillance Technologies Are Used Against Migrants

In recent years, UN agencies, global tech corporations, states and humanitarian NGOs have invested in advanced technologies from smart borders to digital identities to manage migratory movements. These are surveillance technologies that have intensified the militarization of borders and became a testing ground for surveillance capitalism.

This book shows how these technologies reproduce structural inequalities and discriminative policies. Korkmaz reveals the way in which they grant extensive powers to states and big tech corporations to control communities.

Unpacking the effects of surveillance capitalism on vulnerable populations, this is a much-needed intervention that will be of interest to readers in a range of fields.

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Science and Technology Studies and Health Praxis
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From health tracking to diet apps to biohacking, technology is changing how we relate to our material, embodied selves.

Drawing from a range of disciplines and case studies, this volume looks at what makes these health and genetic technologies unique and explores the representation, communication and internalization of health knowledge.

Showcasing how power and inequality are reflected and reproduced by these technologies, discourses and practices, this book will be a go-to resource for scholars in science and technology studies as well as those who study the intersection of race, gender, socio-economic status, sexuality and health.

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Steam’s Tangled Markets

This book examines the evolution of digital platform economies through the lens of online gaming.

Offering valuable empirical work on Valve’s ‘Steam’ platform, Thorhauge examines the architecture of this global online videogame marketplace and the way it enables new markets and economic transactions. Drawing on infrastructure, software, platform and game studies, the book interrogates the implications of these transactions, both in terms of their legality, but also in how they create new forms of immaterial labour.

Shedding new light on a previously under-explored branch of the study of digital platforms, this book brings a unique economic sociology perspective into the growing literature on videogame studies.

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