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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Dr Hugh Mackay



Dr Hugh Mackay is an Honorary Associate of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at The Open University. Until August 2014 he was Head of Faculty Staff (Wales, Ireland & Scotland) and responsible for leading on Faculty policy in the Celtic nations. He was Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Staff Tutor at The Open University in Wales for 23 years. Prior to that he was Principal Lecturer in Sociology and Head of Communication Studies at what is now the University of South Wales.

His research focused empirically on new media technologies, and is generally qualitative or ethnographic. He has arrived at new media from an interest in the co-construction of technology and culture, and in particular how users and producers shape technologies. Living in Cardiff, these interests focus particularly on Wales.

Dr Mackay is an associate member of the Citizenship strand of the CCIG Research Centre. In this position he has been developing his interest in the implications of contemporary media transformations for the public sphere, and for communicative and cultural rights. He was involved, too, in the joint OU-Manchester University CRESC Research Centre. Under its auspices, he has conducted qualitative research on the transformative effects of the internet by domestic uses.

Recently, undertook an AHRC-funded Public Policy Fellowship with Marie Gillespie that is concerned with the implications of interactivity for the organisation and practices at the BBC World Service; and especially, following CRESC’s Social Life of Methods (SLOM) agenda, the issues raised by website and social media monitoring tools – which allow broadcasters to ‘know the audience’ in new and powerful ways.

In retirement, he has continued to publish on the media in Wales, on cycling politics and is embarking on a study of elites in Wales.