- Baker, S.A., McLaughlin, E. and Rojek, C. (2023). Simple Solutions to Wicked Problems: cultivating true believers of anti-vaccine conspiracies during the COVID-19 pandemic. European Journal of Cultural Studies.
- Baker, S.A. and Walsh, M.J. (2023). ‘Memes Save Lives’:
stigma and the production of anti-vaccination memes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social Media + Society.
- Walsh, M.J., Baker, S.A. and Wade, M. (2022). Evaluating the elevation of authoritative health content online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online Information Review. doi:10.1108/oir-12-2021-0655.
- Walsh, M.J. and Baker, S.A. (2022). Avoiding conflict and minimising exposure: Face-work on Twitter. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 28(3), pp. 664–680. doi:10.1177/13548565211036797.
- Smith, N., Maddox, A., Southerton, C. and Baker, S.A. (2022). Conspiracy. M/C Journal, 25(1). doi:10.5204/mcj.2892.
- Baker, S.A. and Maddox, A. (2022). From COVID-19 Treatment to Miracle Cure. M/C Journal, 25(1). doi:10.5204/mcj.2872.
- Baker, S.A. (2022). Alt. Health Influencers: how wellness culture and web culture have been weaponised to promote conspiracy theories and far-right extremism during the COVID-19 pandemic. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 25(1), pp. 3–24. doi:10.1177/13675494211062623.
- Baker, S.A. and Walsh, M.J. (2022). ‘A mother’s intuition: it’s real and we have to believe in it’: how the maternal is used to promote vaccine refusal on Instagram. Information, Communication & Society pp. 1–18. doi:10.1080/1369118x.2021.2021269.
- Baker, S.A. (2021). Alt. Health Influencers: how wellness culture and web culture have been weaponised to promote COVID-19 conspiracy theories and far-right extremism. . doi:10.31235/osf.io/jt2ha.
- Baker, S.A. (2020). Influencing the ‘infodemic’: how wellness became weaponised during the pandemic. Lockdown: Mental Illness, Wellness, and COVID-19 – Keynote Presentation.
- Baker, S.A., Wade, M. and Walsh, M.J. (2020). The challenges of responding to misinformation during a pandemic: content moderation and the limitations of the concept of harm. Media International Australia, 177(1), pp. 103–107. doi:10.1177/1329878x20951301.
- Walsh, M.J. and Baker, S.A. (2020). Clean eating and Instagram: purity, defilement, and the idealization of food. Food, Culture & Society, 23(5), pp. 570–588. doi:10.1080/15528014.2020.1806636.
- Baker, S.A., Wade, M. and Walsh, M.J. (2020). Misinformation: tech companies are removing ‘harmful’ coronavirus content – but who decides what that means? The Conversation.
- Baker, S.A. (2020). Tackling Misinformation and Disinformation in the Context of COVID-19. Cabinet Office C19 Seminar.
- Baker, S.A. and Rojek, C. (2020). The online wellness industry: why it’s so difficult to regulate. .
- Baker, S.A. and Rojek, C. (2019). The scandal that should force us to reconsider wellness advice from influencers. .
- Baker, S.A. and Rojek, C. (2019). The Belle Gibson scandal: The rise of lifestyle gurus as micro-celebrities in low-trust societies. Journal of Sociology pp. 1–17. doi:10.1177/1440783319846188.
- Baker, S.A. and Walsh, M.J. (2018). ‘Good Morning Fitfam’: Top posts, hashtags and gender display on Instagram. New Media & Society, 20(12), pp. 4553–4570. doi:10.1177/1461444818777514.
- Baker, S.A. and Walsh, M.J. (2018). How men are embracing ‘clean eating’ posts on Instagram. .
- Walsh, M.J. and Baker, S.A. (2017). The selfie and the transformation of the public–private distinction. Information, Communication & Society, 20(8), pp. 1185–1203. doi:10.1080/1369118x.2016.1220969.
- Baker, S.A. and Rowe, D. (2014). Mediating mega events and manufacturing multiculturalism: The cultural politics of the world game in Australia. Journal of Sociology, 50(3), pp. 299–314. doi:10.1177/1440783312451782.
- Baker, S.A. (2014). From Causality to Emergence: re-evaluating social media’s role in the 2011 English riots. Georgetown Journal of International Affairs [Special Issue on Social Media & Social Activism], 15(1).
- Baker, S.A. and Rowe, D. (2013). The Power of Popular Publicity: new social media and the affective dynamics of the Sepp Blatter racism scandal. Journal of Political Power [Special Issue on Emotions & Power], 6(3), pp. 441–460.
- Baker, S.A. (2013). Performing the postcolonial: the 'migrant' body as a site of veneration, repugnance and blame. International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 5(3), pp. 213–213. doi:10.1504/ijwoe.2013.055902.
- Baker, S.A. (2012). From the criminal crowd to the “mediated crowd”: the impact of social media on the 2011 English riots. Safer Communities, 11(1), pp. 40–49. doi:10.1108/17578041211200100.
- Baker, S.A. and Rowe, D. (2012). The “Fall” of What? FIFA’s public viewing areas and their contribution to the quality of public life. Space and Culture, 15(3), pp. 395–407.
- Baker, S.A. and Rowe, D. (2012). Live Sites in an Age of Media Reproduction: mega events and transcontinental experience in public space. Global Media Journal, 6(1).
- Baker, S.A. and Rowe, D. (2012). Mediating Mega Events and Manufacturing Multiculturalism: the cultural politics of the World Game in Australia. Journal of Sociology, 48(3).
- Baker, S.A. (2011). The Mediated Crowd: New Social Media and New Forms of Rioting. Sociological Research Online, 16(4), pp. 195–204. doi:10.5153/sro.2553.
- Baker, S.A. (2010). Imitating Life or Art: the tragic hero’s emergence on France’s postcolonial stage. Diversity and Recognition, 117, pp. 93–104.
- Baker, S.A. (2010). Hoping to Fear: the cathartic transformation of the civic community: critique and counter critique. The Resilience of Hope, 68, pp. 97–122.
London EC1V 0HB
Dr Stephanie Alice Baker is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology. She received a B.A. (Hons. 1st Class) from the University of Sydney in 2006 and a Ph.D. (awarded without revision) in 2010. She has held research and teaching positions at the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, the University of Sydney, the University of Western Sydney, the University of Greenwich and Goldsmiths, University of London.
Dr Baker’s research explores how we connect and communicate online, particularly around issues pertaining to health and wellness.
Her first book, Social Tragedy (Palgrave MacMillan 2014) , analysed how collective narratives emerge in different cultural contexts and the role of the media in communicating tragic events of social significance.
Her second book examined how lifestyle and wellness influencers construct authority and influence online. She situated this research in discussions around trust, expertise, microcelebrity and medical misinformation. She has published several key articles on these topics as well as a book, Lifestyle Gurus: Constructing authority and influence online (Polity 2019), co-authored with Chris Rojek.
Her most recent book, Wellness Culture, traces the emergence of wellness culture from a fringe countercultural pursuit to a trillion-dollar industry.
Dr Baker’s current research extends this work by exploring influencer culture and the spread of medical misinformation in the context of COVID-19 and the anti-vaccination movement.
In 2021 and 2022, she was invited by the UK Parliament to provide oral and written evidence on these issues
Dr Baker has worked with organisations across the public and private sector. Past collaborators include the BBC, ITV, Flamingo, Bisto, Discovery Channel, Weber Shandwick, Tapestry Research, Sense Worldwide and TECNO mobile.
She has a strong media presence having featured on BBC World News, ITV and the European culture channel, ARTE. Dr Baker’s research has been published by the New York Times, the Independent, Newsweek, Scroll, the Irish Examiner, the Times of Malta, ABC News and The Conversation. She has been interviewed by, and quoted extensively in the Guardian, The New Economy, the Evening Standard, the Irish Times, Huffington Post, the Daily Telegraph, Mainichi Shimbun and the Atlantic on social media influencers, wellness gurus, trust relations, intimacy, collective memory and digital technologies.
- PhD, University of Western Sydney, Australia, 2010
- BA (Hons 1st Class), University of Sydney, Australia, 2006
- Senior Lecturer, City, University of London, Jun 2020 – present
- Lecturer, City, University of London, Nov 2014 – May 2020
- Researcher, Goldsmiths University of London, 2013 – 2014
- Visiting Lecturer, University of Greenwich, London, 2010 – 2012
- Research Assistant, Institute for Culture and Society, 2010 – 2012
- Research Assistant, Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy, 2010
- Research Fellow, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, 2010
- Honorary Visiting Fellow, University of Leicester, 2007 – 2008
- Academic Tutor, University of Sydney, 2006 – 2007
Memberships of professional organisations
- The Royal Society of Arts (RSA), 2017 – present
- Inducted Member, Golden Key International Honour Society, 2003 – present
- Emerald Literati Network Award for Excellence (2013) Outstanding Paper Award Winner
- European Association for Sociology of Sport (2011) Young Researcher’s Award
- Australian Federal Government (2010) Endeavour Research Award
- University of Western Sydney (2008) Postgraduate Research Award (full PhD scholarship)
- University of Sydney (2007) Wentworth Travelling Scholarship
- University of Sydney (2006) University Postgraduate Award (full PhD scholarship)
- University of Sydney Postgraduate Research Support Scheme
2006, 2007, 2008
Publications by category
- Baker, S.A. (2022). Wellness Culture: How the Wellness Movement has been used to Empower, Profit and Misinform. ISBN 978-1-80262-468-7.
- Baker, S.A. and Rojek, C. (2019). Lifestyle Gurus Constructing Authority and Influence Online. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Polity. ISBN 978-1-5095-3018-2.
- Baker, S.A. (2014). Social Tragedy. Palgrave Macmillan US. ISBN 978-1-349-48150-7.
- Baker, S.A. and Walsh, M.J. (2020). You are what you Instagram: clean eating and the symbolic representation of food. In Lupton, D. and Feldman, Z. (Eds.), Digital Food Cultures (pp. 53–68). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-429-40213-5.
- Baker, S.A. (2014). Introduction: Plato's Challenge. In Baker, S. (Ed.), Social Tragedy The Power of Myth, Ritual, and Emotion in the New Media Ecology (pp. 1–27). Springer. ISBN 978-1-137-37913-9.
- Baker, S.A. and Rowe, D. (2013). The power of popular publicity: new social media and the affective dynamics of the sport racism scandal. (pp. 441–460). Informa UK Limited.
- Baker, S.A. and Hamilton, M. (2013). France. In Emery, R.E. (Ed.), Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia New York: SAGE.
- Baker, S.A. (2013). Theatre and Film. In Emery, R.E. (Ed.), Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia New York: SAGE.
- Rowe, D. and Baker, S.A. (2012). Truly a Fan Experience? The Cultural Politics of the Live Site. In Krøvel, R. and Roksvold, T. (Eds.), We Love to Hate Each Other: Mediated Football Fan Culture (pp. 303–319). Gothenburg: Nordicom. ISBN 978-91-86523-35-0.
- Baker, S.A. (2012). Social Tragedy: Zidane’s role in the nation’s tragic epic. In Kearney, M. (Ed.), From Conflict to Recognition: Moving Multiculturalism Forward (pp. 235–250). New York: Rodopi.
- Baker, S.A. (2011). Ancient India. In Barnett, G. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Networks (pp. 38–41). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
- Baker, S.A. (2011). Earliest Civilizations. In Barnett, G. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Networks (pp. 221–224). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
- Baker, S.A. and Peckman, A. (2011). India. In Barnett, G. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Networks (pp. 401–406). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
- Baker, S.A. (2011). Nepal. In Barnett, G. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Networks (pp. 586–587). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Internet publications (3)
- Baker, S.A. (2022). Supplementary Written Evidence - Policy Recommendations: Select Inquiry into Influencer Culture (INF0040). UK Parliament (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee)..
- Baker, S.A. (2021). Written Evidence: Select Inquiry into Influencer Culture (INF0004). UK Parliament (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee).
- Walsh, M.J. and Baker, S.A. (2021). Twitter’s design stokes hostility and controversy. Here’s why, and how it might change. The Conversation.
Journal articles (31)
- Ruppert, E., Harvey, P., Lury, C., Mackenzie, A., McNally, R., Baker, S.A. … Lewis, C. (2015). Socialising Big Data: From concept to practice. The University of Manchester and the Open University.
- Ruppert, E., Harvey, P., Lucy, C., Mackenzie, A., McNally, R., Baker, S.A. … Lewis, C. (2015). A Social Framework for Big Data. Project Report. CRESC Working Paper Series.
- The Social Foundation of Decision Making. Leeds, UK (2016). http://www.itvmedia.co.uk/news/family-planning?dm_t=0,0,0,0,0