CANCELLED: Beverley Skeggs "Tracking the trackers"

The seminar is cancelled.

Beverley Skeggs

Copyright: Goldsmiths


Capital as an abstract form does not require a particular form of personhood, or subjectivity. However, capitalists have a long history of developing, using and manipulating categories of different persons, to fulfill their own interests. Historically the shaping of personhood within capitalism – and its analysis-- has been closely hinged to property relations. In England the moral, legal and proper subject was dependent upon proximity to ownership of different capacities, with a key difference drawn between those considered as property for exchange (labour, slavery) and those who were non-exchangeable and could own 'themselves' (eg the possessive individual of the Liberal social contract). With a quick trip through neo-liberal imperatives to propertise personhood I will show how these very significant institutionalised differences in the relationship between property and personhood are being refigured by Facebook, as it both individuates as it dividuates. I will draw on a recent ESRC research project (using software developed by Simon Yuill) that enabled us to track the trackers to demonstrate how this is happening.


Professor Beverley Skeggs is a sociologist whose work intersects with the areas of women’s studies and cultural studies. From 1996 to 1999 Professor Bev Skeggs was Director of Women's Studies at Lancaster University. In 1999 she was appointed to a Chair in Sociology at the University of Manchester, where she was Head of Department from 2001 – 2004. Since 2004 she has been Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths.

Skeggs's research interests consolidate around the issue of value and values. Hence value/s has led her through issues of respectability in class and gender formation, an exploration of symbolic value through media and cultural formations; using feminist and poststructuralist theory, Pierre Bourdieu and to the economic abstractions of Marx. In September 2013 Beverley Skeggs began an ESRC Professorial Fellowship on 'A Sociology of Value and Values'.

Skeggs is the author of the influential study Formations of Class and Gender: Becoming Respectable (1997), a longitudinal ethnography of subjectivity across the lives of women as they move from 'caring courses' to work and family, into sexuality and how they negotiate living class in the UK. Publications

In July 2011 Professor Skeggs became the joint managing editor of the journal The Sociological Review.

Published Oct. 17, 2016 1:13 PM - Last modified Nov. 14, 2016 10:24 AM