Dr Grant Blank


		
		
		
			
		
			
		
			
		
			
		
			
		
		Dr Grant Blank

Grant Blank's work focuses on the social and cultural implications of the Internet and related new communications technology. In addition, he does research methods and statistics, and teaches on the OII social statistics courses.

Email: grant.blank@oii.ox.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)1865 612336

Profile

Grant Blank is Survey Research Fellow at OII. He is a sociologist who studies the social and cultural impact of the Internet and other new communication media. He is also interested in cultural sociology, especially reviews and cultural evaluation.

Grant began his career as an independent consultant based in Chicago Illinois specializing in research design, statistical analysis, and database design. He previously taught at American University in Washington DC. He completed his PhD on the sociology of reviews at the University of Chicago in 1999, and joined OII in 2010.

Research interests

social and cultural impact of the Internet and other new media, quantitative analysis, methodology, cultural sociology, sociology of science and technology, artificial intelligence

Positions held at the OII

  • Survey Research Fellow, January 2010 -

Research

Current projects

  • Geography of Digital Inequality

    January 2014 -

    This project combines OxIS and census data to produce the first detailed geographic estimates of Internet use across the UK.

  • Me, My Spouse and the Internet: Meeting, Dating and Marriage in the Digital Age

    January 2008 -

    The project uses survey data from Australian and UK couples to look at the significance and impact of the Internet on intimate relationships, including how people use ICTs to meet each other and maintain relationships, and how ICTs affect their behaviour.

  • OxIS: Oxford Internet Surveys

    January 2003 -

    Research on access, use and attitudes to the Internet in Britain based on biennial surveys covering (for example) digital and social inclusion and exclusion, social networking, safety and privacy concerns, Internet regulation, and behaviour.

  • WIP: World Internet Project

    January 2003 -

    The World Internet Project (WIP) carries out panel surveys in over twenty countries to help understand how individuals adopt and use the Internet and other technologies, as well as the resulting social, economic, political and everyday-life implications.

Publications

Articles

Books

  • Fielding, N., Lee, R.M. and Blank, G. (eds) (2008) Handbook of Online Research Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Blank, G. (2007) Critics, Ratings, and Society: The Sociology of Reviews. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Wilkinson, L., Blank, G. and Gruber, C.P. (1996) Desktop Data Analysis with SYSTAT. New York, NY: Prentice Hall.
  • Blank, G., McCartney, J.L. and Brent, E. (eds) (1989) New Technology in Sociology: Practical Applications in Research and Work. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.
  • Ginsburg, N., Osborn, J. and Blank, G. (1986) Geographical Perspectives on the Wealth of Nations. University of Chicago. Department of Geography. Research monograph #220.

Chapters

  • Blank, G. and Dutton, W.H. (2013) Next Generation Internet Users: Digital divides, choices, and inequalities. In M. Graham and W.H. Dutton (eds) Society and the Internet: How information and social networks are changing our lives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Newman, N., Dutton, W.H. and Blank, G. (2013) Social media and the news. In M. Graham and W.H. Dutton (eds) Society and the Internet: How information and social networks are changing our lives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Blank, G. and Dutton, W.H. (2012) The Emergence of Next Generation Internet Users. In J.Hartley, J.Burgess and A.Bruns (eds) The Blackwell Companion to New Media Dynamics. London: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Lee, R.M., Fielding, N. and Blank, G. (2008) The Internet as a research medium. In: Fielding, N., Lee, R.M. and Blank, G. (eds) Handbook of Online Research Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 3-20.
  • Blank, G. (2008) Online research methods and social theory. In: Fielding, N., Lee, R.M. and Blank, G. (eds) Handbook of Online Research Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 537-549.
  • Blank, G. (2007) Food and Cultural Consumption. In: Ritzer, G. (ed.) Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. New York, NY: Blackwell, pp. 721-724.

Conference papers

Presentations

  • Blank, G. (2011) The Internet in Britain 2011. Prime Minister's Digital Policy Group. 10 Downing Street, London. December 8, 2011.
  • Blank, G. (2010) Toward a Systematic Theory of Consumer Choice and the Internet. Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Atlanta, GA. August 16, 2010. ESA RN02 Sociology of the Arts Conference. September 2, 2010.
  • Blank, G. and Spalter-Roth, R. (2008) Satisfaction with Doing Science: Convergence or a Two-Tier System? Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Boston, MA. August 4, 2008.
  • Blank, G. (2008) Why do Audiences read Reviews? Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Boston, MA August 1, 2008.
  • Blank, G. (2007) Online Research Methods and Social Theory. ESRC e-Society Programme Colloquium. Royal Society, London, UK. March 29, 2007.
  • Blank, G. (2006) Status and the Sociology of Choice. Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Montreal, Canada. August 13, 2006.
  • Blank, G. and Coats-Crowson, J. (2005) Measuring Cultural Values in National Development. Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Philadelphia PA. August 2005.
  • Blank, G. (2005) Worldwide Data Documentation Standards and the Future of Social Science Research. Annual meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society. Washington DC. March 18, 2005.
  • Blank, G. (2004) Toward a Sociological Theory of Choice. Annual meeting to the American Sociological Association. San Francisco CA. August 14, 2004.
  • Blank, G. and Holland, M.E. (2004) Perceived Effects of Popular Culture and Censorship of Youth. Annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. San Francisco CA. August 2004.
  • Blank, G. (2004) A Sociology of Choice. Annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. Washington DC. July 9, 2004.
  • Blank, G. (2002) The Internet and the Entertainment Industry: A Cultural Analysis. Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Chicago IL. August 18, 2002.
  • Blank, G. (2000) Internet Data Sources for Teaching Globalization. Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Washington, DC. August 15, 2000.
  • Blank, G. (1999) The Nature and Types of Reviews: A Study of a Social Institution. Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Chicago. August 10, 1999.
  • Blank, G. (1998) 'Their Power is in the Stars': Reviews, Audience Involvement, and Cultural Hierarchies. Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. San Francisco. August 24, 1998.
  • Blank, G. (1997) Social Science Computing Beyond HTML. Keynote speech for Conference on Computing for the Social Sciences. Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA. June 26, 1997.
  • Blank, G. (1996) The Data Documentation Initiative: Building an International Standard. Annual meeting of the Association of Public Data Users. Washington, DC. October 29, 1996.
  • Blank, G. (1996) Statistical Graphics for Sociologists. Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. New York, NY. August 19, 1996.
  • Blank, G. (1995) Research, Text, and Computing: Retrieving and Organizing your Words. Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Washington, DC. August 21, 1995.
  • Blank, G. (1994) The Science of Software Reviews. Conference on Computing for the Social Sciences. College Park, MD. June 3, 1994.
  • Blank, G. (1992) Expressing Social Theories with Rule-Based Expert Systems. Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Pittsburgh, PA. August 24, 1992.
  • Blank, G. (1991) Models of Sociological Theory. World Congress of Expert Systems. Orlando, FL. December 19, 1991.

Reports

Teaching

Courses taught at the OII

DPhil students supervised at the OII

Current students

Completed students

  • Bianca Reisdorf

    Internet Non-Use: A Comparative Study of Great Britain and Sweden

Webcasts

News

Blog

  • Proxy users in the UK: An overview

    OxIS Blog on 18 Feb 2014 18:12PM

    In general, OxIS distinguishes between Internet users and non-users based on personal use of the Internet. Internet non-users are individuals who say they do not use the Internet personally, by themselves. However, many of these individuals in fact have [...]

  • More than half of the British people who use the Internet do it 'without enthusiasm'

    OxIS Blog on 1 Oct 2013 07:03AM

    [Press release - University of Oxford, 1 October 2013]

  • OxIS 2013 top-line findings: Internet use continues to grow; big increases in low-income households

    OxIS Blog on 1 Oct 2013 07:03AM

    Released on 1 October by the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, the Oxford Internet Surveys (OxIS) 2013 Report: “Cultures of the Internet: The Internet in Britain 2013” presents data on British access, use and attitudes to the Internet since [...]

  • Should government regulate the Internet more? Most Internet users say no; most non-users say yes

    OxIS Blog on 21 Sep 2013 12:51PM

    Internet regulation has become an increasingly controversial topic as governments have sought to deal with issues arising from the growing centrality of the Internet and the perceived risks to children and other important segments of the [...]

  • Social network site use plateaus at 61% of Internet users

    OxIS Blog on 19 Sep 2013 10:49AM

    Social network sites transformed the online experience for many people. However, while these sites have experienced years of explosive growth, growth in the proportion of users seems to have levelled off in the last two years, with the major growth in the [...]

  • Why have some people stopped using the Internet?

    OxIS Blog on 13 Sep 2013 12:38PM

    In 2013, 3% of British people reported being ex-users of the Internet. This is a slight decrease 2011 when 5% of the population were ex-users of the Internet.  Themes: Digital DividesAttitudes

  • Understanding the geographical variation of Internet activity across Britain

    OxIS Blog on 10 Sep 2013 11:24AM

    Britain has the largest Internet economy in the industrial world (measured as a percent of GDP; 8.3% in 2012), and the Internet is an increasingly important part of British society and economy. Social life is increasingly mediated and influenced by online [...]

  • How likely are ex- and non-users to get online in the future?

    OxIS Blog on 3 Sep 2013 15:12PM

    There is a steadily declining likelihood that ex-users will get Internet access in the next year. In 2013 29% of ex-users were planning access compared to 52% in 2005. However, in 2013 ex-users are still much more likely to plan to get Internet access [...]

  • Almost half of people with disabilities don't use the Internet: but why?

    OxIS Blog on 3 Sep 2013 14:56PM

    While disabilities, such as health-related problems, are a continuing source of digital exclusion, OxIS 2013 shows that over half (51%) of British people with a disability use the Internet. This is a rise of 15 percentage points from 2007. Unfortunately, [...]

  • Most Internet non-users have a link to the Internet via a proxy user

    OxIS Blog on 3 Sep 2013 14:46PM

    Almost 90% of ex-users and almost 70% of non-users said they have a link to the Internet if they need it, but their access is indirect via another, proxy user. Proxy access may not be quick access or high quality access—depending on someone else means [...]

  • In the field!

    OxIS Blog on 31 Jan 2013 13:57PM

    The 2013 OxIS survey questionnaire was finished on Monday and it will go into the field beginning Saturday 2 February. We have been working on the questions for most of the past month. New questions are in response to changes in the Internet since the [...]

  • Non-users and Ex-users: Lifestage, Education and Income

    OxIS Blog on 30 May 2012 11:25AM

    Published by Grant Blank on 30 May 2012 The previous blog post showed that gender seems to have little influence on who are non- and ex-users of the Internet, whereas age is strongly related to non-use. In this post we examine life stage, education and [...]

  • Non-users and ex-users: looking at lifestage, education and income

    OxIS Blog on 29 May 2012 23:00PM

    The last blog post on non-users and ex-users: looking at the effect of gender and age showed that gender seems to have little influence on who are non- and ex-users of the Internet, whereas age is strongly related to non-use. In this post we examine life [...]

  • Non-users and Ex-users: Gender and Age

    OxIS Blog on 28 Apr 2012 14:38PM

    Published by Grant Blank on 24 April 2012 In this post we explore some basic demographic characteristics of non-users and ex-users of the Internet. The first graph shows that the proportions of non- and ex-users among men and women are almost identical. [...]

  • Non-users and ex-users: looking at the effect of gender and age

    OxIS Blog on 23 Apr 2012 23:00PM

    In this post we explore some basic demographic characteristics of non-users and ex-users of the Internet. The first graph shows that the proportions of non- and ex-users among men and women are almost identical; the proportion of non- and ex-users is only [...]

  • Civic by default - when opting in is not a choice

    OxIS Blog on 13 Apr 2012 13:59PM

    OII Research Fellow Rebecca Eynon and Anne Geniets discuss the topical issue of the UK's digital inclusion strategy, discussed at last week's OII workshop on low and discontinued Internet use by young people in Britain.Themes: Young PeopleDigital [...]

  • Civic by default - when opting in is not a choice

    OxIS Blog on 13 Apr 2012 13:54PM

    This is a guest post by OII Research Fellow Rebecca Eynon and Anne Geniets. They discuss the topical issue of the UK's digital inclusion strategy, discussed at last week's OII workshop on low and discontinued Internet use by young people in Britain. [...]

  • On Non-users and Ex-users of Internet

    OxIS Blog on 16 Mar 2012 12:19PM

    Published by Grant Blank on 16 March 2012 This blog post is the first of a series on people who have never used the Internet before (non-users) and people who have had used the Internet in the past but do not use it now (ex-users). As the Internet plays [...]

  • On Internet non-users and ex-users

    OxIS Blog on 16 Mar 2012 00:00AM

    This blog post is the first of a series on people who have never used the Internet before (non-users) and people who have had used the Internet in the past but do not use it now (ex-users). As the Internet plays increasingly significant role in our [...]

  • OxIS Featured in News

    OxIS Blog on 2 Mar 2012 12:07PM

    Published by Grant Blank on 2 March 2012 The Oxford Internet Survey was featured in the current issue of the Stata News. Stata News goes out to around 100,000 users of the statistical software package Stata. Stata was particularly interested in the fact [...]