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Michael  Saker

Dr Michael Saker

Senior Lecturer

School of Media Arts and Technology

023 8201 6206 ext. 6206 Room no. JM210


Michael is a senior lecturer in broadcasting and digital creative industries. His academic background is in media and cultural studies. In 2014 he received his PhD from the University of Southampton, jointly supervised across the sociology and web science departments. He also has a postgraduate certificate in learning and teaching in higher education, and is a fellow of the HEA.

His research interests include: 

  • Digital media technologies and the creative industries
  • Digital cultures and digital audiences
  • Social media and user-generated content
  • The mediation of everyday life
  • Locative media and memory
  • Locative media and mobility 

Taught courses

Further information

  1. Recent publications, talks and engagements

    Michael's recent publications include a book, selected papers, a thesis and conference papers. For more information, follow the link below...


    Saker, M. and Evans, L. (2017) Location Based Social Networking: Space, Time and Identity. Palgrave.

    Selected papers

    Saker, M. (2016) Mediated cities: the impact of locative media on space, place and social connections. In: S. Sparke & G. Cairns (eds.),  AMPS Conference Publication Series 6. Digital Cultural Ecology and the Medium Sized City. University of the West of England, Bristol, 21-22 April (2016). pp. 133-139

    Saker, M. and Evans, L. (2016) Locative Media and Identity: Accumulative Technologies of the Self. Sage Open, first published 8 August 2016. Doi: 10.1177/2158244016662692

    Saker, M. (2016) Foursquare and identity: Checking-in and presenting the self through location. New Media & Society, first published on March 28, 2016. Doi: 10.1177/1461444815625936

    Saker, M. and Evans, L. (2016). From Flâneurs to Playeurs: An exploration of Foursquare and playful engagements with space and place. Media, Culture & Society, first published on April 19,2016. Doi: 10.1177/0163443716643149

    Saker, M. and Evans, L. (2016) Locative mobile media and time: Foursquare and technological memory'. First Monday. 21(2). 1 February 2016. Doi: 10.5210/fm.v21i2.6006

    Saker, M. (2015) How I do my PhD. PhD Life: a blog about the PhD student experience. University of Warwick.

    Guest-edited journals

    Saker, M. and Evans, L. (2017) Sage Open Special Issue. Locative Media and Identity


    Saker, M. (2014) Smartphones and Pervasive Play: An Examination of the Effect Foursquare has on Physical, Spatial and Social Practices. University of Southampton, School of Social Sciences, Doctoral Thesis, 249pp.

    Invited talks

    Saker, M. (2016) Foursquare and its impact on Social Interactions. Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Event, Ofcom, 11 May, 2016.

    Selected conference papers

    Saker, M. and Evans, L. (2017) The personal and public impact of Pokémon Go: contextualising ‘novelty’ within the broader canon of locative media. Paper to be presented at the BSA Annual Conference, Recovering the Social: Personal Troubles and Public Issues, University of Manchester, 4-6 April 2017

    Saker, M. (2017) Ridesharing and restricted mobilities: Using computational social science to examine collaborative mobilities and their impact on experiences of place. Paper presented at MeCCSA 2017: Culture, Media, Equality and Freedom, University of Leeds, 11-13 January 2017.

    Saker, M. (2016) Locative Media and Identity: Presenting the self through location. Paper presented at the BSA Annual Conference, Global Societies: Fragmenting and Connecting, Aston University. 6-8 April 2016.

    Saker, M. (2016) Mediated cities: the impact of locative media on space, place and social connections. Paper presented at the Architecture, Media, Politics, Society Annual Conference, Digital-Cultural Ecology and the Medium-Sized City, Arnolfini Centre for Contemporary Arts, 1-3 April 2016.

    Saker, M. (2016) Foursquare and Sociability: Location-based social network sites (LBSNs) and digital communities. Paper presented at MeCCSA 2016: Communities, Canterbury Christ Church University, 6-8 January 2016.

    Saker, M. (2015) Reimagining the locational past in the present: location-based social networks (LBSNs) and the archiving of space and place. Paper presented at Digital Humanities: Transformative Landscapes, University of Derby.26 June 2015.

    Saker, M. (2015) Location-based Play: An Examination of the Effect Foursquare Has On Physical, Spatial and Social Practices. Paper presented at the BSA Annual Conference, Societies in Transition: Progression or Regression? University of Glasgow. 15-17 April 2015.

    Saker, M. (2014) Location-based Applications and Digital Transformations of Urban Space. Paper presented the BSA Annual Conference, Changing Society, University of Leeds. April 2014.

    Saker, M. (2013) Location-Based Play & its Social/Spatial Effects. Paper presented at the Sociology and Social Policy Postgraduate Research Day, University of Southampton. September 2013.

    Saker, M. (2012) Smartphones & Gamified Spaces. Paper presented at the Work Futures in the Digital Economy Interdisciplinary Symposium, Chilworth Manor, Southampton. March 2012.

    Invited engagement

    Empaville facilitator, University of Southampton's Web Science Institute, Digital Democracy Day, Boldrewood Campus, 23 March 2017. Empaville is a role-playing game that simulates multi-channel participatory budgeting in the imaginary city of Empaville. It is developed by Empatia, a consortium that aims to produce the first comprehensive technology platform to improve participatory budgeting for all participants.

    Invited to be a PhD mentor by the University of Southampton's Web Science Institute at their 'Writers' Retreat' event held at Cumberland Lodge, 6-7 January 2017.

  2. Research interests

    Michael's research interests lie in the digital and creative industries and examines how digital media impacts everyday life. Follow the link below to find out more.

    Michael’s research interests include:

    • Digital media technologies,
    • Digital cultures,
    • Locative-based social networking,
    • Mobile data,
    • Digital memory.

    Michael’s research examines digital media technologies and digital cultures along two interconnected lines of enquiry. First, he is interested in the physical, spatial and social consequences of location-based mobile media in urban environments. He is particularly interested in the role locative applications might play in place-making practices and perceptions of urban space. Second, he is fascinated by the broader impact digital media technologies are having on society. He is especially interested in the transformation of everyday life into data, and how this transformation might lead to new methodological ways of examining the emergent effects of digital media.

  3. Work in progress

    Michael is presently co-editing a sage open special edition with Dr Leighton Evans that explores locative media in the context of identity. He is also involved in several other research projects and grants.