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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

Contact

Visit Stephanie Alice Baker

D624, Rhind Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB
United Kingdom

About

Overview

Research Profile

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) from the University of Western Sydney 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.

Her first book, Social Tragedy (Palgrave MacMillan 2014) , analysed how collective narratives emerge in different cultural contexts and the role of the media and social media in communicating tragic events of social significance.

Her second book examined how authority and influence are constructed online in the context of health knowledge and medical misinformation. She situated this research in discussions around trust, the decline of expertise, authenticity and microcelebrity. 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’s current research extends this work by exploring the spread of misinformation and disinformation in the context of COVID-19.


Research Interests
• The role of digital technologies to connect and communicate online, particularly on issues pertaining to health
• The construction of authority and influence online, including experts, publics and social media influencers
• How collective narratives emerge online and offline
• The spread of misinformation and disinformation on social media


Consultancy Work

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.


Media Appearances

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

Qualifications

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

Employment

  1. Senior Lecturer, City, University of London, Jan 2020 – present
  2. Lecturer, City, University of London, Jan 2014 – May 2020
  3. Researcher, Goldsmiths University of London, 2013 – 2014
  4. Visiting Lecturer, University of Greenwich, London, 2010 – 2012
  5. Research Assistant, Institute for Culture and Society, 2010 – 2012
  6. Research Assistant, Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy, 2010
  7. Research Fellow, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, 2010
  8. Honorary Visiting Fellow, University of Leicester, 2007 – 2008
  9. Academic Tutor, University of Sydney, 2006 – 2007

Memberships of professional organisations

  1. The Royal Society of Arts (RSA), 2017 – present
  2. Inducted Member, Golden Key International Honour Society, 2003 – present

Awards

  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

Publications

  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.

Books (2)

  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. (2014). Social Tragedy. Palgrave Macmillan US. ISBN 978-1-349-48150-7.

Chapters (11)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Baker, S.A. and Hamilton, M. (2013). France. In Emery, R.E. (Ed.), Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia New York: SAGE.
  5. Baker, S.A. (2013). Theatre and Film. In Emery, R.E. (Ed.), Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia New York: SAGE.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Baker, S.A. (2011). Ancient India. In Barnett, G. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Networks (pp. 38–41). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  9. Baker, S.A. (2011). Earliest Civilizations. In Barnett, G. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Networks (pp. 221–224). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  10. Baker, S.A. and Peckman, A. (2011). India. In Barnett, G. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Networks (pp. 401–406). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  11. Baker, S.A. (2011). Nepal. In Barnett, G. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Networks (pp. 586–587). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Journal articles (20)

  1. Walsh, M.J. and Baker, S.A. (2020). Clean Eating and Instagram: Purity, Defilement and the Idealisation of Food. Food, Culture, and Society.
  2. 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.
  3. Baker, S.A. (2020). Tackling Misinformation and Disinformation in the Context of COVID-19. Cabinet Office C19 Seminar.
  4. Baker, S.A. and Rojek, C. (2020). The online wellness industry: why it’s so difficult to regulate. .

    [publisher’s website]

  5. 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. doi:10.1177/1329878X20951301.
  6. Baker, S.A. and Rojek, C. (2019). The scandal that should force us to reconsider wellness advice from influencers. .

    [publisher’s website]

  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Baker, S.A. and Walsh, M.J. (2018). How men are embracing ‘clean eating’ posts on Instagram. .

    [publisher’s website]

  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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).
  16. 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).
  17. 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.
  18. Baker, S.A. (2011). The Mediated Crowd: new social media and new forms of rioting. Sociological Research Online, 16(4).
  19. 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.
  20. 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). http://www.itvmedia.co.uk/news/family-planning?dm_t=0,0,0,0,0