Wil was recently appointed as a Lecturer in Social Science in the School of Social Sciences. Prior to this they have been employed as a Research Associate based in the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research & Data (WISERD). Since 2015 they worked across the Civil Society research centre, exploring the relationship between engagement with social media and civil society. This included research into the use of social media by social movements and during instances of collective and industrial action. They led – and are still involved in – research on the platform economy, including an ethnographic study of cycle couriers in Cardiff and alternative forms of work and organisation in the form of platform cooperativism.
They have experienced in developing innovative methodologies using social media and digital research methods. This has included content and social network analysis of Twitter data using Gephi, COSMOS and NodeXL and mobile digital methods such as GPS mapping and photography.
Broadly, their research interests centre around digital society and the impact of new technologies on people and places. Their PhD thesis explored the changing landscape of digital surveillance and resistance and developed theories of social control and nodal governance. They have a background in criminology and sociology and prior to taking up a position in WISERD, worked on ESRC/EPSRC-funded research investigating business-related cybercrime in the UK.
Their current research involves a continuation of their work with WISERD, exploring various aspects of cycle courier employment in the platform economy, including workplace surveillance, subculture, leisure at work and geography/mobility.Wil Chivers Bio