About Us

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Our objective with the “Internet, Technology, and Digital Sociology” (ITDS) research cluster is to bring together like-minded sociologists who are interested in the social implications of the internet and technology, broadly defined to include computers, social media and networking platforms, information and communication technologies (ICTs), digital media, as well as many other technological innovations and developments. We welcome members with all methodological and theoretical orientations, along a diverse range of substantive topics related to the intersection of internet/technology with other areas of sociology. We aim to promote the advancement of this area within Canadian sociology and provide opportunities for interested CSA members and non-members to connect, network, and set the agenda for future research on internet and technology as it pertains to Canada and abroad. This research cluster is open to scholars, students, and any other interested parties in academic or non-academic positions.

Co-Chairs (2022-23):
Andrew D. Nevin, University of Massachusetts Boston
Anabel Quan-Haase, Western University
Michael Adorjan, University of Calgary

Executive Team (2022-23):
Social Media Coordinator: TBD
Webmaster: TBD
Newsletter Committee: TBD
Student Paper Award Committee: TBD

Mission Statement

The ITDS research cluster has been formed with the belief that technology is central to our understanding of contemporary social life. While sociologists commonly reference the fundamental shifts in social organization and relations stemming from the technologically-driven Industrial Revolution, there has been less of a focus in our discipline on the impacts arising from the Digital Revolution and proliferation of digital technologies in society. Much work on the latter has been treated as interdisciplinary or taken up by other fields including Communications and Information Science. We would like to emphasize its contribution as an important area of research specifically within sociology. Furthermore, for sociologists who currently do study such topics, they are often secondary focuses within other pillars of sociology, including race, class, gender, inequality and stratification, work and occupations, social networks, health, culture, criminology, political sociology, etc. The growing interest in internet/technology topics at the CSA in recent years has prompted the establishment of this research cluster to serve as a centralized location for sharing ideas among all sociologists interested in the internet, technology, and digital sociology in a way that reduces the current fragmentation of this discourse.

This cluster supports all research associated with the social implications of technology, broadly defined. Some topics of interest to cluster members include: digital access and inequality, digitally-mediated communication, how technology influences networks and relationships (e.g., professional, friendship, romantic), cyberbullying and cybercrime, the role of technology in teaching and education, online self-expression (e.g., identity, performativity), methodological considerations and the affordances of online data (including big data), and many others that focus on online spaces or the impacts of technological interventions in face-to-face environments.

There are three identified goals associated with this research cluster:

  • Create a space for sharing ideas and resources among members interested in the social implications of internet/technology, while promoting the development of ITDS as an important area of sociological inquiry.
  • Connect those who are interested in critically rethinking classical and contemporary sociological theory and methods in light of the internet and digital technologies. We aim to create a forum for critical discussion of the status of digital sociology and, more broadly, the historical impact of the internet and technology on sociological theory and methods.
  • Facilitate networking, community building, and collaborating between members who share research and teaching interests. We also would like to support connections with other CSA research clusters and other international groups of technology scholars.

We plan to organize sessions at the annual meetings of the CSA that touch on a diverse set of topics and theoretical frameworks related to ITDS in order to formally accommodate and consolidate this increasing academic interest in ways that benefit the growth of this area in Canadian sociology. Additionally, we intend to provide a platform for members to determine the future of this research cluster and to foster new perspectives and developments in the sociological study of the internet and technology. We look forward to expanding our membership and meeting new interested scholars at York University for CSA 2023.

Footnote: The ITDS founding members were Andrew Nevin, Anabel Quan-Haase, and David Toews. The cluster’s inaugural business meeting and conference sessions took place during Congress at the University of British Columbia in June 2019.