Safety apps use location-based monitoring and messaging services available on all smartphones to allow users to be surveilled by people that they trust. The researcher will investigate, using ethnographic methods, how, why, and with what consequences these apps are used in contemporary Britain. Constituting one member of a four-person team studying the intersection between surveillance and moral community, the researcher will explore the moral pull of surveillance-as-safety, in a national context in which this value has been the primary justification for the expansion of public and private CCTV.
The researcher will be responsible to the project’s PI and contribute proportionately to the collective outputs of the project. They will publish journal articles, book chapters, and assist with the co-crafting of a policy report. They will also be involved in research dissemination activities: through conference presentations, workshops, and web content. This post carries a number of administrative duties: including scientific and ethical reporting, coordinating network activities, and organizing events at the host department.
The project is hosted by the Department of Digital Humanities at Kings College London, an interdisciplinary environment shared by scholars across the social sciences and humanities. Founded in 1992, the department is the largest of its kind anywhere in the world, and is situated at the forefront of critical inquiry into the development of digital society.
Following the good practice guidelines provided by the European Association of Social Anthropologists, the PDRA will have full or proportionate authorship of all publications arising from their research, and allocated 20% FTE for personal and professional development.
This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 36 months, starting on 1st September 2021.
This is a full-time post.
Conduct research, including twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork, on the use of safety apps in Britain.
Publish the research as a minimum of two journal articles and one book chapter, and contribute to the policy report.
Present the research at conferences and workshops
Contribute to the reporting of the project to the European Research Council
Organize events at the host department.
Contribute to the virtual dissemination of the project via its website and social media handles
The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.
Skills, knowledge and experience
1. A Ph.D in Social Anthropology or related discipline
2. Extensive experience and training in ethnographic methods
3. Knowledge and experience of digital methods
4. Expertise in one or more of the following areas: anthropology of security, anthropology of kinship, anthropology of risk, digital anthropology, gender studies
5. Publications in peer-reviewed journals
6. Evidence of public engagement
7. Capacity to work independently and with others
8. Capacity to take responsibility for administrative tasks
9. Excellent command of spoken and written English
1. Previous experience on collaborative research projects
2. Publication of a research monograph
3. Receipt of prizes, fellowships and awards
Closing date: 31/5/2021