Daniel Kirby

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Daniel joined SIID in June 2019 as part of the SCArFEthics project (https://research.ncl.ac.uk/scarfethics/aboutourproject/). This research project looks at sustainable food consumption in Brazil, South Africa and China, considering how it is deployed and practised in specific global South contexts, how it might be impacted during times of increasing political instability and precarity, and how this maps onto the wider context of population growth and consumerism (globally). His role in this project involves using digitally native tools for collecting, cleaning and analysing social media data over a 12-month period, working alongside the digital methods team at the University of Sheffield. This particular stage of the project (phase 4) seeks to use text mining and image scraping on social media to trace lines of influence in sustainable food consumption.

Prior to joining SIID, Daniel completed his MA in Digital Media and Society and The University of Sheffield. His thesis looked at the role of visuals in both digital activism and vegan advocacy, using the approach of digital ethnography to investigate The Save Movement. This included both online and offline participant observation, looking at the ways in which activists mediated visual content during protests outside an abattoir and the dissemination of imagery within Facebook groups. In particular, he explored the ways in which visual practices contribute to collective identity dynamics within the movement, emphasising the continued importance of group-ties and a shared sense of belonging in digital activist contexts and within contemporary vegan social movements. Daniel was awarded the ‘MA Digital Media and Society prize in Sociological studies’ on 21st November 2019 and was praised for his innovative use of research methods.

Research interests: Digital Activism, Agri-Food Ethics, Vegan Social Movements, Climate Justice Movements, Digital Research Methods, Visual Cultures.