Dr Matthew Hart

Lecturer in Digital Society

School/Department: Media Communication and Sociology, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 229 7877



I previously taught at Western Sydney University and La Trobe University in Australia before joining the University of Leicester and the School of Media, Communication and Sociology in 2017. My background is in digital sociology, having studied, researched, and published in the intersecting areas of youth, intimacy, risk, and digital and social media since 2013. I am primarily interested in digital cultures, particularly in terms of the benefits young people are able to leverage through voluntarily negotiating with 'risk' as part of their everyday online practices. More recently, I have begun exploring problematic articulations of masculinity and online violence in digital cultures (Involuntary Celibates or 'incels') and the sociology of livestreaming and esports.


Externally Funded Research

  • Principal Investigator (eNurture network) GaMESym (Gaming, Mental Health and Esports for livestreaming youth Symposium.
  • Co-Investigator (H2020) DigiGen The Impact of Technological Transformations on the Digital Generation. I contribute to the work package on ICT and the transformation of civic participation (2019-2022)




  • Billet, P., Hart, M., and Martin, D. (2020) Complexities of Researching with Young People. Routledge, New York.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  • Hart, M. (2017) ‘Being naked on the internet: young people’s selfies as intimate edgework’, Journal of Youth Studies 20(3): 301-315.
  • Hart, M. (2015) ‘Youth Intimacy on Tumblr: A Pilot Study’, Young 23(3): 193-208.

Book Chapters

  • Kanai, A., Abidin, C., and Hart, M. (2020) ‘Doing Qualitative Research on Tumblr: Experience and Advice from Three Scholars of Young People’s Tumblr Use’, in A McCracken, L Stein, and A Cho (eds.), A Tumblr Book: Platform and Cultures. University of Michigan Press: 114-126.
  • Hart, M (2019) 'They look before they leap: conceptualising young people as digitally competent risk takers and its implications for ethical internet research', in Billett, P., Hart, M., and Martin, D. (eds.). Complexities of Researching with Young People. Routledge, New York: 46-58.
  • Hart, M. (2018) ‘#Topless Tuesdays and #Wet Wednesdays: Digitally-Mediated Neo-Tribalism and NSFW selfies on Tumblr’. In Hardy, A., Bennett, A., Robards, B. (eds.). Neo-Tribes: Consumption, Leisure and Tourism. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham: 207-219.
  • Hart, M. (2018) ‘“It’s Nice To See You’re Not The Only One With Kinks”: intimate networking, NSFW selfies, and Tumblr’, in A S Dobson, B Robards, and N Carah (eds.). Digital Intimate Publics and Social Media. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham: 177-191.

Book Reviews

  • Hart, M. (2017) ‘The Promiscuity of Network Culture: queer theory and digital media, by Robert Payne’, Continuum 31(5): 724-736.

Conference Papers

  • Dunning, M and Hart, M (2019) 'Doing things differently: a process-sociological approach to ‘incels’, Youth Studies and the Challenges of Late Capitalism in a Globalised World: Journal of Youth Studies Conference 2019. University of Newcastle, Australia, December 2-4.
  • Hart, M (2016) 'Digitally-mediated neo-tribes: Temporal bodies and Ontological Anchoring', Technicity, Temporality, Embodiment: The 10th International Somatechnics Conference, Byron Bay, Australia, November 30 - December 3.
  • Hart, M (2015) 'It's Nice To Know You're Not The Only One With Kinks: Intimate Networking, NSFW selfies, and Tumblr', Digital Intimate Publics, University of Queensland, Australia, November 19-20.
  • Hart, M (2014) 'On the edge: NSFW selfies as youth edgework', Interactive Futures: Young People's Mediated Lives in the Asia Pacific and Beyond, Monash University, December 1.
  • Hart, M (2013) 'Identities and Intimacies on Tumblr' , 12th Nordic Youth Research Symposium - NYRIS '12: Changing Societies and Cultures: Youth in the Digital Age, Tallinn University, Estonia, June 12 - 14.


I am also interested in supervising PhD dissertations in the following areas: young people; digital and social media; online intimacy; risk; sociality and post-subcultural belonging

Currently Supervising

  • Ms Yosra Aljadani: 'Female students experience of cyberbullying on social media at King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia' (1st Supervisor)
  • Mr David Böhm: 'Dissonance and Consistency of Levels of Communication in Video Games' (2nd Supervisor)
  • Ms Mia Rai: 'Punk and emotions: the misunderstood subculture/youth identity' (1st supervisor)

Professional Duties and Membership

  • Peer reviewer for: Palgrave Macmillan; Polity Press; Journal of Youth Studies; YOUNG; Girlhood Studies; Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures; Bodies, Sexualities and Masculinities
  • Professional Member: Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) and The Australian Sociological Association (TASA). I am a founding member of the Esports Research Network (ERN).


Currently Teaching and Contributing to

  • MS2009 - Digital Media in Everyday Life
  • SY3079 - Modern Sociological Theory
  • SY7019 - Contemporary Debates in Sociology

Courses Taught in the Past

  • SY1020 - Introduction to Social Research (1st year module, University of Leicester)
  • Digital Cultures (3rd year core UG unit, Western Sydney University)
  • Understanding Visual Cultures (1st year core UG unit, Western Sydney University)
  • Individual in Society (1st year core UG unit, Western Sydney University)
  • Global Issues, Local Lives (1st year core UG unit, La Trobe University)
  • Understanding Youth in the 21st Century (2nd year UG unit, La Trobe University

Roles in the School

  • From 2017 to 2020, I was the programme director for the MA Contemporary Sociology and the MA Digital Media & Society.
  • Since 2019, I have acted as the director of research ethics for the school of Media, Communication and Sociology.

Press and media

Media Engagement


  • 2013 - BA Sociology Honours 1st Class (University of Wollongong)
  • 2017 - Doctor of Philosophy Sociology and Digital Media (La Trobe University)
  • 2020 - Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
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