Dr Grant Blank
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.
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 -
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.
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.
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.
- Blank, G. and Reisdorf, B.C. (2012) The participatory web: A user perspective on Web 2.0. Information, Communication & Society.
- Newman, N., Dutton, W. H., and Blank, G. (2012) Social Media in the Changing Ecology of News: The Fourth and Fifth Estates in Britain. International Journal of Internet Science 7(1) 6-22.
- Blank, G. and Dutton, W.H. (2011) Age and Trust in the Internet: The Centrality of Experience and Attitudes Toward Technology in Britain. Social Science Computer Review. doi: 10.1177/0894439310396186
- Rupke, H.N. and Blank, G. (2009) 'Country Roads' to Globalization: Sociological Models for Understanding American Popular Music in China. Journal of Popular Culture. 42: 126-146.
- Blank, G. (2006) Communication and Information Technologies: A History of the Middle Years. Social Science Computer Review 24: 158-164.
- Blank, G. and Rasmussen, K.B. (2004) The Data Documentation Initiative: The Value and Significance of a World-Wide Standard. Social Science Computer Review 22: 307-318.
- Blank, G. (2004) Teaching Qualitative Data Analysis to Graduate Students. Social Science Computer Review 22: 187-196.
- Blank, G. (1997) The Road Ahead: Observations on the Role of the Internet. Social Science Computer Review 15: 190-195.
- Blank, G. (1993) Codebooks in the 1990s; or, Aren't You Embarrassed to be Running a Multimedia-Capable, Graphical Environment like Windows and Still be Limited to 40-byte Variable Labels? Social Science Computer Review 11: 63-83.
- Blank, G. (1991) Why Sociological Computing Gets No Respect. Social Science Computer Review 9: 593-611.
- Blank, G. (1986) Reviewing Statistical Software on Microcomputers: Methods and Vision. Computers and the Social Sciences 2: 1-10.
- 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.
- 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.
- Newman, N., Dutton, W.H. and Blank, G. (2011) Social media in the changing ecology of news production and consumption: The case in Britain. Presented at the International Communication Association (ICA) Conference 2011.
- 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.
- Dutton, W.H. and Blank, G. (2011) Next Generation Users: The Internet in Britain 2011. Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.
Courses taught at the OII
This course provides students with the opportunity to engage with the methodological, ethical and philosophical underpinnings of quantitative and qualitative social science research practices.
This course introduces students to statistics for the social sciences, with an emphasis on application to research on the Internet and society.
This course introduces students to statistics for the social sciences, with an emphasis on application to research on the Internet and society.
DPhil students supervised at the OII
Thesis title to be confirmed.
Internet Non-Use: A Comparative Study of Great Britain and Sweden
Recorded on: 26 September 2012 Duration: 00:19:03
Grant Blank discusses populations and sampling during a seminar on quantitative methods in social media research held at the OII on 26 September 2012.
Recorded on: 24 January 2012 Duration: 00:07:20
Grant Blank summarises his lecture on how a new pattern of Internet access is developing through the use of a growing variety of devices than enable increasing mobility: these people are "Next Generation Internet Users".
11 December 2012 The Guardian
Grant Blank looks at some facts behind the headlines of Google's annual Zeitgeist list of the top UK search terms. The list reflects popular concerns and also highlights the question of whether popular culture is really important.
30 November 2011 The Guardian
According to figures from the OII's Oxford Internet Surveys (OxIS), Internet use among people aged 65 and over sits at only about 30% and has not changed much since 2005, despite campaigns to get more older people connected.
17 October 2011 University of Oxford
The OxIS 2011 survey shows that nearly half of Internet users in Britain are 'Next Generation Users', who routinely access the Internet on the move using portable devices - more than double the proportion in 2007.
17 October 2011 Oxford Internet Institute
Topline findings from the Oxford Internet Surveys (OxIS) 2011 Report: "Next Generation Users: The Internet in Britain 2011", presenting data on British access, use and attitudes to the Internet 2003-2011.
7 June 2011 The Independent
Grant Blank comments on the current boom in adoption by older users of the Internet in an article on the first generation pioneers using social networks in retirement.
11 April 2011 The Independent
Social media skills are increasingly expected of workers leading to demand for lessons in Twitter and other social media: Grant Blank comments on employers using these sites to vet potential or current employees.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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. [...]
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. [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
OxIS Blog on 15 Feb 2012 09:24AM
Published by Grant Blank on 15 February 2012 Results from the 2011 wave of Oxford Internet Surveys show several notable trends. Mobile phones have become virtually universal and nearly half (49%) of users used them to access the Internet. In addition to [...]
OxIS Blog on 3 Feb 2012 16:04PM
Published by Grant Blank on 3 February 2012 It’s been a while since the OxIS 2011 Report has been published. But hey, it’s never too late to show you some pictures from the Launch! We want to take you back to October 2011. It was a cloudy [...]
OxIS Blog on 20 Dec 2011 13:39PM
Published by Grant Blank on 20 December 2011 Survey research, which is at the core of the OxIS project, presents several measurement challenges. Establishing reliability is especially difficult when measuring concepts where observational data might yield [...]
OxIS Blog on 12 Dec 2011 13:43PM
Published by Grant Blank on 12 December 2011 Regardless of whether internet gambling is illegal (in the US) or legal (Europe), it requires trust. In bricks-and-mortar casinos the long-run odds favour the house, so there is a built-in probability of [...]
OxIS Blog on 30 Nov 2011 11:37AM
Published by Grant Blank on 30 November 2011 Here at the Oxford Internet Institute we have been exploring the effect of attitudes towards technology on Internet adoption. Positive attitudes toward technology may make people more interested in adopting new [...]
OxIS Blog on 20 Oct 2011 09:41AM
Published by Grant Blank on 20 October 2011 On Monday we launched the 2011 OxIS report: "Next Generation Users: The Internet in Britain" (PDF, 3.1MB) at an event at the House of Commons. The report and top findings were outlined by Professor [...]
OxIS Blog on 12 Oct 2011 20:04PM
Published by Grant Blank on 17 October 2011 The Report of the 2011 OxIS survey has just been released: Next Generation Users: The Internet in Britain 2011 (pdf, 3.1MB). At the report launch we will make public interesting new findings as well as updating [...]
OxIS Blog on 17 May 2011 17:54PM
Published by Grant Blank on 17 May 2011 The 2011 wave of data collection is finished and we have 2,057 respondents. We have gone through several waves of data cleaning. For example, we were able to recover many missing occupational codes. In some cases, [...]
OxIS Blog on 30 Mar 2011 12:13PM
Published by Grant Blank on 31 March 2011 Data collection has begun for the 2011 wave of the Oxford Internet Surveys, with ICM Research hired to collect a random sample of about 2,000 British respondents. We expect to be in the field for four [...]
OxIS Blog on 9 Dec 2010 14:14PM
Published by Grant Blank on 9 December 2010 We are currently in the process of setting questions for the 2011 OxIS survey, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk a bit about survey questions. Essentially, good questions are very important [...]
OxIS Blog on 18 Nov 2010 11:47AM
This is a guest post by Victoria Nash, OII Policy and Research Fellow. She discusses the topical issue of the UK's Internet economy, an issue to be discussed at next week's OII-Google forum on policies and strategies to support the Internet [...]
OxIS Blog on 15 Nov 2010 15:45PM
Published by Grant Blank on 15 November 2010 I have posted below the comments I prepared for a panel on 'Young People and the Digital Divide', organized by Catch22 at the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference, Liverpool (20 September 2010), during [...]
OxIS Blog on 25 Oct 2010 14:32PM
Published by Grant Blank on 25 October 2010 Trust is fundamental in personal and commercial relationships. Trust online is problematic because products or people cannot be directly observed thus many cues used in face-to-face interaction are absent. [...]
OxIS Blog on 28 Sep 2010 23:00PM
Published by Grant Blank on 29 September 2010 I was talking to some friends recently about the Internet and I described how Internet use declines with age, but it increases as income goes up. A friend asked me which was more important, age or income? I [...]
Last updated on: 21 May 2013