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Professor Frank Webster

Professor Frank Webster
Department of Sociology
Birmingham University


Frank Webster (Space, Place and the Virtual University) was born and raised in a small mining village in County Durham. He went to school in Spennymoor, and went on to Durham University from 1969 to 1973 (BA, 1972; MA 1974) and the London School of Economics (Ph.D., 1978). He has worked at universities in London and California, and from 1990 was Professor of Sociology at Oxford Brookes University, and has been Professor of Sociology at the University of Birmingham since January 1, 1999. Frank is also Docent in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Tampere, Finland.

Frank has been much influenced by the work of the late Philip Abrams, which leads him to be sympathetic towards historical sociology and large-scale analyses of change. He is also shaped by a background in literature and European social theory. He has done research in sociology of literature, social history of the North East coal field, and, for most of his career, changes in the information domain. This latter has been very wide-ranging, from technology effects to changes in higher education, from photography to financial data flows.

He is the author of several books, including The New Photography (Calder, 1980), Information Technology: A Luddite Analysis (with Kevin Robins, Ablex, 1986), The Technical Fix: Computers, Industry and Education (with Kevin Robins, Macmillan, 1989), Theories of the Information Society (Routledge, 1995), The Postmodern University? (edited, with Anthony Smith, Open University Press, 1997), Times of the Technoculture: from the information society to virtual life (with Kevin Robins, Routledge, 1999), and Theory and Society: Understanding the Present (edited, with Gary Browning and Abigail Halcli, Sage, 1999).


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