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Social, Political, Economic Studies of Technology and FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate)

Primary supervisor

Jathan Sadowski

Research area

Emerging Technologies

This research project is part of a DECRA fellowship funded by the Australian Research Council for a project titled, Everyday Insurtech: Impacts of Emerging Technology for Insurance. The fellowship will study the development, adoption, and implications of digital technology and insurance—such as tools for capturing individualised data about behavioural risk factors and automating enforcement of policy conditions. The fellowship project is based on critical theories from fields like political economy and STS, alongside qualitative methods including document analysis and ethnography.

Proposals are invited that contribute to this DECRA project by undertaking research investigating the development, adoption, and implications of emerging technology in some part of the FIRE sector (finance, insurance, real estate). In other words, proposals should fit within the growing field of social studies of fintech, insurtech, and/or proptech. Proposals should be synergistic with this DECRA project, complementing and expanding its focus by studying the social, political, ethical, and/or economic aspects of technology in the FIRE sector.

This project is based in the Emerging Technologies Research Lab, which is an interdisciplinary social sciences community that conducts research into the social, cultural, ethical, and experiential dimensions of the design, use, and futures of emerging technologies. The Emerging Technologies Research Lab is a cross-faculty initiative that connects the Faculties of Information Technology and Art, Design & Architecture.

Required knowledge

Applicants should have an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in the social sciences or humanities (e.g. with training in disciplines such as STS, political economy, media studies, human geography, sociology, or anthropology). Background experience with critical approaches to studying the design and/or impacts of digital technology is highly desired. Familiarity with qualitative methods, such as ethnography, is also desired.


Project funding

Project based scholarship

Learn more about minimum entry requirements.