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School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Karen Gregory

Karen Gregory
Dr Karen Gregory
Lecturer in Digital Sociology; Programme Director, MSc Digital Society
6.23 Chrystal Macmillan Building George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0)131 6511334
Research Interests
Digital Sociology, Digital Labor, Gender and Technology, Social media, ethnography, Mixed methods research in social sciences, Sharing Economy, Platform Society, Algorithmic Society, Supply chains and digital infrastructure

I am a digital sociologist and ethnographer with an interest in the relationship between work, technology, and emerging forms of labor. My research to date has explored the intersection of  work and labor, social media use, and contemporary spirituality, with a special emphasis on the role of the laboring body and affective labor. I am particularly interested in the ways in which people navigate shifting economies and technological terrains in order to "make a living." I have an interest in digital research methods and research ethics in digital scholarship.

I am currently at work on a research project that examines the possibilities for solidarity in a digital economy.  I also work on issues of data and labor in higher education and am interested in the development and study of critical digital pedagogy. 

Recent talks: 

Gregory, K. 2017. "The Labor of Digital Scholarship." Talk given at the University of Edinburgh. Audio and Slides available:

Select Publications

Gregory, K. and Singh, Sava Saheli. (forthcoming, January 2018). "Anger in Academic Twitter: Sharing, Caring, and Getting Mad Online." Triple C: Communication, Capitalism, and Critique. Vol 16 (1).  

Gregory, K. 2017. "Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy." Journal of Cultural Economy. 10(6): 552-555.

Gregory, K. 2017. “Digital Labor.” In Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd ed. Ed. George Ritzer. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Daniels, J., K. Gregory, and T. McMillan-Cottom. 2016. Digital Sociologies. Bristol: Policy Press.

Gregory, K. 2016. “In the Cards: From Hearing ‘Things’ to Human Capital.” In Object Oriented Feminisms, ed. Katherine Behar. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Gregory. K. 2016. "Can Tech Schools Go Cooperative?" In Ours to Hack and to Own, ed. Trebor Scholz and Nathan Schneider. New York: OR Books.

Gregory, K. & Winn, J. 2016. Marx, Engels and the Critique of Academic Labor. Workplace, 28, 1-8.

Aronowitz, S. & Gregory, K. 2016. "Jobless Higher Ed: Revisited, An Interview with Stanley Aronowitz." Workplace, 28, 130-135.

Orton-Johnson, K., Prior, N. and Gregory, K. 2015. "Sociological Imagination: Digital Sociology and the Future of the Discipline." Special Section on Digital Sociology. The Sociological Review.​

Clough, P., K. Gregory, B. Haber, and J. Scannell. 2015. “The Datalogical Turn.” In Nonrepresentational Methodologies: Re-Envisioning Research, ed. Phillip Vannini, 182–206. Oxford: Taylor & Francis.

Gregory, K. 2015. "Grounding Discussions of the Digital." Journal of Interactive Pedagogy 6, online ed. (March 5, 2015)

Daniels, J., M. K. Gold, with members of the Inq13 Collective (K. Gregory et al.). 2014. “The Inq13 POOC: A Participatory Experiment in Open, Collaborative Teaching and Learning.” Journal of Interactive Pedagogy 5, online ed. (July 15, 2014).

Gregory, K. 2013. “Quality Is Our Recipe: Gaming the Lost Affect of Care.” Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory 23(4)

Gregory, K. 2013. “The Teaching of Labor and the Labor of Teaching: Reflections on Publicness and Professionalism.” Journal of Interactive Pedagogy 3, online ed. (November 12, 2013).

Gregory, K. 2012. “Negotiating Precarity: Tarot as Spiritual Entrepreneurialism.” Women’s Studies Quarterly 40(3/4). 

Gregory, K. 2011. "A Night at Tarot School."Frequencies: An On-line Journal of the Social Science Research Council

Clough, P. and Gregory, K. 2010. “Playing and Praying to the Beat of a Child’s Metronome.” Subjectivity 3(4).


Sadowski, J. and Gregory, K. 2017. "Amazon is running its own hunger games – and all the players will be losers." The Guardian.

Gregory, K. and Hendry, K., Watts, J., Young, D. 2017. "Selfwork." Real Life.

Gregory, K. 2016. "Brexit and the Stateless: Digital Citizenship in an Era of Instability." Bella Caledonia.

Gregory, K. 2015. "Media Matters." The New Inquiry.

Sadowski, J. and Gregory, K. 2015. "Is Uber's Ultimate Goal the Privatization of City Governance?" The Guardian.

Gregory, K. 2015. "Good Wives: Algorithmic Architectures as Metabolization" Boundary 2.

Gregory, K. 2015. “Weird Solidarities.” Dis Magazine.

Gregory, K. 2015. “Serios Matters: The Thoughtographic Photography of Ted Serios.”

Gregory, K. 2014. “The Public Is Political.” New Criticals.

Gregory, K. 2013. “Magical Surpluses.” The New Inquiry.

Gregory, K. 2012. “Geographies of Intimacy.” The State

Gregory, K. 2012. “Mediums of Exchange.” The New Inquiry.

Featured in Ed Reform:
Anya Kamenitz. 2015. “Ten Indispensible Women Transforming Education.”

Interviewed for Buzzfeeed Tech story:
Caroline O’Donovan. 2015. “What if You Could Crowdsource a Loan?”

Quoted in NPR’s 2015 Education Predictions:

Interviewed for New York Times story: Altman, Anna. 2014. “Paying For Quality Education.”

Interviewed for Washington Post story: Dewey, Caitlin. 2014. “The Many Problems with SketchFactor, the New Crowdsourcing App That Many Are Calling Racist.”

Interviewed for Guernica Magazine story: Reider, Rachel. 2014. “The Teaching Class”

For more web-based writing, please see: Digital Labor Working Group, which I co-founded in 2014.

Topics interested in supervising

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the fields of: digital sociology, digital labor, studies of social media, work and technology, and affective and emotional labor studies.

If you are interested in being supervised by Karen Gregory, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Sociology