My name is Sam Miles and I am a post-doctoral researcher at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
As a research fellow in social science, I conduct research into young people, sexual behaviour, sexual health and family planning. I also work on patient involvement in healthcare, and young people with sickle cell disease.
For my PhD in social sciences at Queen Mary, University of London, I studied locative media – that is, mobile phone apps – and how they are used in cities. More specifically, I explored how non-heterosexual men use dating apps like Grindr and Tinder in London, UK, for social and sexual encounters – and how these mapping functions might change interactions with and through the city. What is exciting about this work is that it combines study of human geography, technology and queer theory to progress ideas about mobile technology not just for gay men but for all sorts of populations who use technology today and in the future. After all, mobile technology is ubiquitous, but the social codes that inform our use of these products is rather less established. My work looks at what goes well, and less well, when people use technology to make new social and sexual connections.
This blog, ‘Sex(uality) & the City’, is a way of narrating some of my thoughts and findings within the research, as well signposting social science, technology and queer scholars to resources I find useful. Finally, the blog will take a wider look
at academia and politics. There’s a lot I love about academic life and some things I dislike about it too – and you’ll hear plenty of both on these pages.
Beyond the books I seem to spend most of my time going to friends’ weddings. I don’t know why, I think it’s just that age. Nothing beats seeing my friends cement their commitment as sorted, mature adults while I lose my train tickets and arrive late, sweating, to their special day.