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portrait of Dr Stephanie Alice Baker

Dr Stephanie Alice Baker

Senior Lecturer in Sociology

School of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Sociology

Contact Information


Visit Stephanie Alice Baker

D624, Rhind Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Research profile

Dr Stephanie Alice Baker joined the Department of Sociology as a lecturer in 2014. She received a B.A. (Hons. 1st Class) from the University of Sydney in 2006 and a Ph.D. (awarded without revision) in 2010. Since completing her doctorate she has held research positions at the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, the University of Western Sydney and Goldsmiths, University of London, as well as a visiting lectureship at the University of Greenwich, UK. She also served as a representative of the European Sociological Association’s Emotions Research Network from 2012-2018.

Dr Baker’s research explores the relationship between technology, culture and society. She is interested in how people connect and communicate online, paricularly on social media.

Dr Baker’s current research examines how knowledge, influence and authority are constructed online in the context of health and medicine. She situates this research in discussions around the decline of expertise, manufacturing authenticity, micro-celebrity and low-trust society. 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.

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 and Sense Worldwide.

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 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 and Mainichi Shimbun on social media influencers, wellness gurus, trust relations, intimacy, collective memory and digital technologies.


  1. PhD, University of Western Sydney, Australia, 2010
  2. BA (Hons 1st Class), University of Sydney, Australia, 2006


  1. Lectureship in Sociology, City, University of London, 2014 – present
  2. Researcher, Goldsmiths University of London, 2013 – 2014
  3. Visiting Lecturer, University of Greenwich, London, 2010 – 2012
  4. Research Assistant, Institute for Culture and Society, 2010 – 2012
  5. Research Assistant, Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy, 2010
  6. Research Fellow, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, 2010
  7. Honorary Visiting Fellow, University of Leicester, 2007 – 2008
  8. Academic Tutor, University of Sydney, 2006 – 2007

Memberships of professional organisations

  1. Inducted Member, Golden Key International Honour Society, 2003 – present


  1. Emerald Literati Network Award for Excellence (2013) Outstanding Paper Award Winner
  2. European Association for Sociology of Sport (2011) Young Researcher’s Award
  3. Australian Federal Government (2010) Endeavour Research Award
  4. University of Western Sydney (2008) Postgraduate Research Award (full PhD scholarship)
  5. University of Sydney (2007) Wentworth Travelling Scholarship
  6. University of Sydney (2006) University Postgraduate Award (full PhD scholarship)
  7. University of Sydney Postgraduate Research Support Scheme
    2006, 2007, 2008


  1. Baker, S.A. and Rojek, C. (2020). Lifestyle Gurus Constructing Authority and Influence Online. Polity. ISBN 978-1-5095-3018-2.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


  1. Baker, S.A. (2014). Social Tragedy: The power of myth, ritual and emotion in the new media ecology [Cultural Sociology Series]. New York: Palgrave. ISBN 978-1-137-38613-7.

Chapters (10)

  1. Baker, S.A. and Rowe, D. (2014). The Power of Popular Publicity: new social media and the affective dynamics of the Sepp Blatter racism scandal. In Heaney, J.G. and Flam, H. (Eds.), Power & Emotion London: Routledge.
  2. 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.
  3. Baker, S.A. and Hamilton, M. (2013). France. In Emery, R.E. (Ed.), Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia New York: SAGE.
  4. Baker, S.A. (2013). Theatre and Film. In Emery, R.E. (Ed.), Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia New York: SAGE.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Baker, S.A. (2011). Ancient India. In Barnett, G. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Networks (pp. 38–41). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  8. Baker, S.A. (2011). Earliest Civilizations. In Barnett, G. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Networks (pp. 221–224). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  9. Baker, S.A. and Peckman, A. (2011). India. In Barnett, G. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Networks (pp. 401–406). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  10. Baker, S.A. (2011). Nepal. In Barnett, G. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Networks (pp. 586–587). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Journal articles (10)

  1. Walsh, M.J. and Baker, S.A. (2017). The selfie and the transformation of the public–private distinction. Information Communication and Society, 20(8), pp. 1185–1203. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2016.1220969.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 213–228.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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).
  8. Baker, S.A. (2011). The Mediated Crowd: new social media and new forms of rioting. Sociological Research Online, 16(4).
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Reports (2)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Other Activities

Keynote lecture/speech

  1. The Social Foundation of Decision Making. Leeds, UK (2016).,0,0,0,0