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Queen's University

Martin Hand

Ph.D. (Sociology, York, U.K.)
Associate Professor 


Office: Mac-Corry D529
Phone: (613) 533-6000 ext. 74494

Chair of Undergraduate Studies

Research Areas

  • Digital Culture: photography, archives/memory, ethnography, theory
  • Consumption: theory and practice, sustainability, mundane technologies
  • Cultural Sociology: cultural institutions, material culture, theory

Current Projects

  • Persistent Traces and Potential Memories: emerging technologies, conventions and practices of memory-making in the digital era (2011-14 funded by SSHRC and SARC)

A largely ethnographic examination of how memory institutions and individuals are using new digital technologies as part of their memory practices. This regime of technologies prompts challenging questions about the relationships between collective and personal memory (archival histories and individual biographies), the public and the private (the visibility of private life online), the myriad ways in which ‘malleable’ visual and textual data can be stored, classified, reconstructed and reworked in the present, and whether instant communication now takes priority over memorization at the level of everyday life. 

  • Digital Consumption

An examination of debates about the relationships between digital technologies and the dynamics of consumption. The project seeks to identify and explain the most important ideas and theoretical debates about how digital technologies are being consumed: situating some of the more hyperbolic claims about digitization within the dynamics of consumer culture. The research looks at a wide range of examples from recent research on, for example, digital marketing, surveillance, GIS, smartphones and tablets, new media channels, waste, and so on, which connect digital technologies and consumption practices. Digitization raises important questions about existing understandings of consumer cultures: challenging popularly held views of consumers and consuming, and prompting a material analysis of so-called ‘digital culture’. 


    I am currently supervising graduate students in the following areas:

    • Disability in the Digital Age
    • Rhetorics of Technology in Education

    Previous students have researched topics in the following areas:

    • The Networked Home
    • Ethics of Photo-Sharing
    • Metaphors of Digital Memory 
    • Urban Regeneration in Toronto
    • Risk and Reflexivity in Food Consumption
    • Cultural Economy and Tourism
    • Cyberspace and Theology
    • Bottled Water Marketing and Consumption
    • The Greening of Consumption
    • Identity and Ethics of Slow Food Movements



    • Hand, M. Digital Consumption: a critical introduction. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. (Contracted)
    • Hand, M. (2012) Ubiquitous Photography. Cambridge: Polity. 
    • Hand, M. (2008) Making Digital Cultures: Access, Interactivity and Authenticity. Aldershot: Ashgate.    
    • Shove, E. Watson, M. Hand, M. and Ingram, J. (2007) The Design of Everyday Life. Oxford: Berg.

    Articles, Chapters, Essays

    • Hand, M. (2011) ‘Images and Information in Cultures of Consumption’, in Heywood, I. Sandywell, B. (eds.) Handbook of Visual Culture. Oxford: Berg.
    • Hand, M. (2011) ‘Information Technology’, in Southerton, D. (ed.) Encyclopaedia of Consumer Culture.   London: Sage.
    • Hand, M. (2011) ‘Content Analysis’, in Southerton, D. (ed.) Encyclopaedia of Consumer Culture. London:  Sage.
    • Hand, M. (2011) ‘Social Media and its Discontents’, Academic Matters, Oct/Nov.
    • Hand, M. (2010) ‘The Rise and Fall of Cyberspace, or how cyberspace turned inside out’, in Hall, J. Grindstaff, L. Ming-Cheng, L. (eds.) Handbook of Cultural Sociology. London: Routledge.
    • Hand, M. Shove, E. (2007) ‘Condensing Practices: ways of living with a freezer’, Journal of Consumer Culture,Vol. 7(1): 79-104. 
    • Hand, M. Shove, E. Southerton, D. (2007) ‘Home Extensions: space, time and practice’,Environment and Planning D: Society & Space, Vol. 25(4).   
    • Gane, N. Venn, C. Hand, M. (2007) ‘Ubiquitous Surveillance’, Theory, Culture & Society, Vol. 24 (7-8): 349-358.  
    • Hand, M. Moore, K. (2006) ‘Community, Identity and Digital Games’, in Rutter, J. Bryce, J. (eds.)Understanding Digital Games. London: Sage. Pp. 241 – 266.    
    • Hand, M. (2005) ‘The People’s Network: self-education and empowerment in the public library’,Information, Communication & Society, Vol. 8(3): 368-393.
    • Hand, M. Shove, E. Southerton, D. (2005) ‘Explaining Showering: a discussion of the material, conventional and temporal dimensions of practice’, Sociological Research Online, Vol. 10(2). 
    • Hand, M. Shove, E. (2004) ‘Orchestrating Concepts: kitchen dynamics and regime change in Good Housekeeping and Ideal Home, 1922-2002’, Home Cultures, Vol. 1 (3): 1-22.   
    • Southerton, D. Warde, A. Hand, M. (2004) ‘The Limited Autonomy of the Consumer’ in Southerton, D. et. al. (eds.) Sustainable Consumption.Manchester: Edward Elgar. Pp. 32 - 48  
    • Pantzar, M. Shove, E. Hand, M. (2004) ‘Innovations in Fun: the careers and carriers of digital photography and floorball’, in Pantzar, M. Shove, E. (2004) Manufacturing Leisure. Consumers Association of Finland. Pp. 126 - 146         
    • Hand, M. Sandywell, B. (2002) ‘E-topia as Cosmopolis or Citadel: on the democratizing and de- democratizing logics of the Internet, or, towards a critique of the new technological fetishism’, Theory, Culture & Society, Vol. 19 (1-2): 197-225. 


    I have recently taught the following classes:

    • SOCY931 New Media Cultures (Graduate)
    • SOCY430 Consumer Culture
    • SOCY306 Introduction to Consumer Culture
    • SOCY284 Sociology of Information and Communication Technologies

    Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000