Addie McGowan is a postdoctoral research fellow who supports the Data Civics Observatory. Situated between the Edinburgh Futures Institute and Sociology in the School of Social and Political Science, Data Civics is about the representation of people and communities through mixed, experimental, digital methods using a range of media, platforms and data. Addie supports this developing programme by conducting her own original research, collaborating with colleagues on broader research projects, and working on dissemination, publishing, impact, and knowledge exchange activities. Her aim is also to build links and networks across EF and CAHSS themes and centres, as well as relationships with external partners and universities.
Addie’s interests in how digital platforms order and shape how we make and experience place(s) drives this work, and were developed during her doctoral research from 2019 – 2023. Funded by the Share City joint studentship in the Future Cities group of funded projects, across the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow, her thesis explores the sharing economy in the city by way of asking how home sharing platforms like Airbnb (co)produce urban knowledge of place via their digital and social infrastructures. Her research interests include platforms, tourism, advertising, and digital culture, and is supervised between Architecture (ESALA, Professor Richard Coyne) and Sociology (SPS at U of Edinburgh, Professor Nick Prior, and U of Glasgow, Professor Bridgette Wessels).
She holds an MSc in Digital Society from the University of Edinburgh (2018) and a BA in Sociology and Communication from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX USA (2008). In the near decade between her BA and MSc, Addie built a career in digital marketing, working as a digital strategist at various firms in the United States. The practical knowledge of the digital landscape she gained from this work ultimately inspired her return to academia to ask sociological questions of the platforms, data, and practices she encountered.