My research interests falls into three broad areas: the sociology of economic life (consumer culture and market society); the sociology of new media, particularly in the global South; and material and visual cultures (lighting and design; photography). And most of my work has been informed by a commitment to ethnographic research.
My current research programme combines all these interests: Configuring Light/Staging the Social (with Jo Entwistle, King’s College London) comprises linked projects that examine light as material culture, technology and design, starting with the configuration of light as part of built environments at the level of homes and buildings, spaces and cities. Details can be found at www.configuringlight.org. Most of this work – including a three year ESR-funded seminar programme also called ‘Configuring Light’ - is currently housed within LSE Cities.
The 15 years before this were dominated by new media research, culminating in my recent book, New Media, Development and Globalization: Making Connections in the Global South (Polity: 2013). Previous work has included The Internet: An Ethnographic Approach, with Prof Daniel Miller (Berg: 2000); a study of on-line pornography traders; an ethnography of community radio and internet in rural Sri Lanka (with Peter Lewis, LSE, and Jo Tacchi, QUT, under the auspices of UNESCO and DfID); a UNESCO programme of ethnographic action research with nine ICT projects in South Asia; and a two-year DfID-funded programme of comparative ethnographies of new media in India, Ghana, South Africa and Jamaica (with Daniel Miller, Jo Tacchi and Andrew Skuse).
Research on the sociology of economic life includes Consumer Culture and Modernity (Polity: 1997) and Market Society: Markets and Modern Social Thought, with Dr Fran Tonkiss (Polity: 2001); and, The Technological Economy, with Dr Andrew Barry (Routledge 2005).
I joined the LSE in January 2001, after teaching in Goldsmiths College for many years. I supervise across my various research interests; Ph.Ds in progress include music scenes and cultural mediators in Chile; an ethnography of the One Laptop Per Child Programme in Uruguay; a study of the configuration of ‘atmosphere’ in urban design and planning; a study of IBM ‘smart cities’; and new world conspiracy theorists online.
I am also editor-in-chief of the British Journal of Sociology.
Slater, D. R. New Media, Development and Globalization: Making Connections in the Global South. Cambridge: Polity Press (2013).
Consumer Culture and Modernity. (1997) Cambridge: Polity Press.
The Internet: An Ethnographic Approach. (2000) with Prof Daniel Miller, Department of Anthropology, University College London. Oxford: Berg.
Market Society: Markets and Modern Social Thought. (2001), with Dr Fran Tonkiss, LSE. Polity Press.
The Technological Economy. (2005), with Dr Andrew Barry, Department of Geography, Oxford. Routledge. Edited collection, expanded version of special issue of Economy and Society 31 (2) (2002)
Research: ICT Innovations for Poverty Reduction, with Jo Tacchi. New Delhi: UNESCO (2004)
Entwistle, J. and D. R. Slater (2013) ‘Reassembling the cultural: fashion models, brands and the meaning of 'culture' after ANT’, Journal of Cultural Economy.
Entwistle, J. and D. R. Slater (2012) ‘Models as brands: critical thinking about bodies and images’, in J. Entwistle and E. Wissinger (eds.), Fashioning Models: Image, Text and Industry. Oxford: Berg: 15-33.
Slater, D. R. (2011) ‘Between culture and economy: the impossible place of marketing’, in D. Zwick and J. Cayla (eds.), Inside Marketing. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 23-41.
Schor, J. B., D. Slater, S. Zukin and V. A. Zelizer (2010) ‘Critical and Moral Stances in Consumer Studies’, Journal of Consumer Culture July 2010 (10): 274-91.
Slater, D. R. (2009) ‘The ethics of routine: consciousness, tedium and value ’, in E. Shove, F. Trentmann and R. Wilk (eds.), Time, Consumption and Everyday Life: Practice, Materiality and Culture. Oxford: Berg.
'Assembling Asturias: Scaling devices and cultural leverage', with T. Ariztia-Larrain in I. Farias and T. Bender (eds.), Urban Assemblages: How Actor-Network Theory Changes Urban Studies London: Routledge. (2009)
'Glimpsing God in the Internet', in D. Held and H. Moore (eds.), Cultural Politics. Cambridge: Polity Press. (2008)
Slater, D. R. and D. Miller (2007) ‘Moments and Movements in the Study of Consumer Culture: A discussion between Daniel Miller and Don Slater’, Journal of Consumer Culture (7): 5-23.
'Consumption and Lifestyle', in C.Calhoun, B.Turner and C.Rojek (eds), Handbook of Sociology. London: Sage (2005)
'Comparative ethnography of new media', with Daniel Miller, in J. Curran and M. Gurevitch (eds), Mass Media and Society. London: Hodder Arnold. (2005)
'Anthropology', with Daniel Miller and Lucy Suchman, in M. Price and L. Nussenbaum (eds), The Academy and Internet. New York: Peter Lang. (2004)
'Markets, materiality and the "new economy " ' , in S. Metcalfe and A.Warde (eds), Market Relations and the Competitive Process. Manchester: Manchester University Press (2003)
'Modernity Under Construction: building the Internet in Trinidad', in P.Brey, T.Misa and A.Rip (eds), Modernity and Technology: The Empirical Turn. Boston: MIT Press. (2003)
'Social relationships and identity on/off-line', in L. Lievrouw and S. Livingstone (eds.), Handbook of New Media: Social Shaping and Consequences of ICTs. (2002) London: Sage
'Capturing markets from the economists', in P. d. Gay and M. Pryke (eds.), Cultural Economies (2002) London: Sage
'Making things real: ethics and order on the Internet', Special issue of Theory, Culture and Society. In press: (July 2002)
'From calculation to alienation: disentangling economic abstractions', Economy and Society 31 (2). (April 2002)
'Existentialism with a Historical Imagination: A Roundtable Discussion with Agnes Heller and Marshall Berman', with Sam Binkley. Journal of Consumer Culture 2(1). (2002)
'Political discourse and the politics of need: discourses on the good life in cyberspace', in L. Bennett and R. Entman (eds.), Mediated Politics (2000), London: Cambridge University Press
'Consumption without scarcity: exchange and normativity in an internet setting', P Jackson, M Lowe, D. Miller and F Mort (eds.), Commercial Cultures: Economies, Practices, Spaces (2000), London: Berg
Rival, L., Slater, D., and Miller, D. 'Sex and sociality: comparative ethnography of sexual objectification', Theory, Culture and Society special issue on Love and Eroticism (1998)
'Trading sexpics on IRC: embodiment and authenticity on the internet' Body and Society 4 (4) (December 1998)