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Research interests

My research explores the role of material and cultural practices in processes of economic organisation and social change.  

These core theoretical concerns have been typically operationalised via empirical studies of the agro-food sector but I have also explored materials (for example plastics, textiles), resources (for example energy, water), and issues of waste and disposal. Against this backgrop, I am interested in the governance of sustainability challenges as well as the ways in which firms and other organisations problematise and respond to these issues. 

I have long-standing interests in consumption, which was once a key reference point for major theoretical debates concerning processes of social and economic change. I am motivated by a concern to revitalise the significance of consumption for study of contemporary economy and society. This is a matter of moving beyond the orthodoxy of cultural studies of consumption to embrace new substantive topics - such as contested futures related to financialisation, digitalisation, climate crises, and so on - as well as the theoretical repertoires that they call forth.  

My work sits at the intersection of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Economic Sociology, with a strong theoretical orientation towards relational-materialist perspectives. I typically work ethnographically although the vast majority of my research involves collaboration with colleagues from a range of methodological and disciplinary – including the natural and physical sciences – backgrounds. 

My current research projects are as follows:

1) I am a CoI and member of the Centre Leadership Team for the ESRC Centre for Sociodigital Futures. My core interest here is in the performative effects - principally in terms of economy - of sociotechnical imaginaries (e.g. the metaverse).  I also lead the 'Consuming Futures' Domain - which is focused on the sustainability of current and future practices of home entertainment and communication 


2) I am CoI and member of the Executive Group for UKRI-SPF funded H3 ('Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, Healthy People') programme, which is focused on the transformation of food systems.  I also lead a 'Cross-Cutting Theme' related to consumption, demand and access. My key interest here is in the governance issues that are raised by dietary change intitatives. 


3) I am in the early stages of developing work that applies a 'money and finance' sensibility to the study of consumption and socio-economic change.  

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • MGMT Marketing and Consumption
  • ESRC Centre for Sociodigital Futures


  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Material culture
  • Food and agriculture
  • Money, credit, debt and finance
  • Sustainability
  • Consumption
  • Sociodigital futures


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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