Isis Hjorth is a Researcher at the OII. She is a cultural sociologist, who specialises in analysing emerging practices associated with networked technologies. She completed her AHRC-funded DPhil (PhD) at the OII in January 2014. Her thesis “Networked Cultural Production: Filmmaking in the Wreckamovie Community” was an ethnographic study of four crowdsourced feature films, tackling the emergence of distributed collaborative production models spanning the boundaries between non-market and market-orientated production. Grounded in critical sociological theory, it examined the division of labour, and theorized the dynamics of the various forms of capital enabling the realisation of these novel forms of cultural goods.

Isis is currently working on the project “Microwork and Virtual Production Networks in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia” investigating the economic and social implications of new forms of economic activities in the context of ICTs for development. Before that Isis was involved with research on learning and interaction in MOOCs, and on participatory digital tools for artistic production.

In 2010/11 Isis was awarded AHRC SLI grant under the Beyond Text programme enabling the delivery of a two-day international conference on Remix Cinema, and various related public engagement initiatives.

Trained in the social sciences as well as the humanities, Isis holds a BA and MA in Rhetoric from the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen, and an MSc in Technology and Learning from the Department of Education, University of Oxford. Prior to joining the academic community, Isis worked in broadcast journalism and screenwriting in her native Copenhagen.

Research interests

networked cultural production, virtual labour, microwork, crowdsourcing, digital ethnography, creative industries, critical sociology, symbolic capital, global inequalities, crowd-based learning, ICT for development

Positions held at the OII

  • Research Associate,  May 2018 –
  • Researcher, March 2014 – May 2018
  • DPhil Alumna, March 2014
  • DPhil student, October 2009 – February 2014

Supervisors at the OII


Past projects


Conference papers

  • Eynon, R., Hjorth, I., Yasseri, T. and Gillani, N. (2016) "UNDERSTANDING COMMUNICATION PATTERNS IN MOOCs", Data Mining and Learning Analytics: Applications in Educational Research.
  • Wood, A., Graham, M., Lehdonvirta, V., Barnard, H. and Hjorth, I. (2016) "Virtual Production Networks: Fixing Commodification and Disembeddedness", Development Studies Association 2016. DSA 2016: Development Studies Association Conference.
  • Kassi, O.A., Lehdonvirta, V., Graham, M., Barnard, H. and Hjorth, I. (2016) "“Not a Lot of People Know Where It Is”: Liabilities of Origin in Online Contract Work", Collective Intelligence. Collective Intelligence, NYU, New York, 31 May – 2 September 2016. NYU Stern School of Business.
  • Wood, A., Graham, M., Lehdonvirta, V., Barnard, H. and Hjorth, I. (2016) "Virtual Production Networks: Fixing Commodification and Disembeddedness", GPNs and social upgrading: labour and beyond - WorkshopWorkshop: GPNs and social upgrading: labour and beyond.
  • Lehdonvirta, V., Barnard, H., Graham, M. and Hjorth, I. (2014) "Online labour markets - levelling the playing field for international service markets?", IPP2014: Crowdsourcing for Politics and Policy conference, University of Oxford,. Oxford Internet Institute.
  • Eynon, R., Hjorth, I., Gillani, N. and Yasseri, T. (2014) "Vote Me Up If You Like My Ideas! Experiences of Learning in a MOOC", International Communications Association Pre-Conference, Innovation in Higher Education: Building a Better Future?. Center for the Advanced Study of Communities and Information (CASCI).
  • Hjorth, I. (2012) "The forms of capital in peer-production", WikiSym Doctoral Colloquium.
  • Hjorth, I. (2012) "Is fuzziness a given: the boundaries of ethnographic enquiry online", Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) Doctoral Symposium.
  • Hjorth, I. (2012) "Managerial mechanisms and leadership in peer produced films", Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) Annual Meeting.
  • Meyer, E. and Hjorth, I. (2012) "Connecting performance artists with digital audiences: A case study of Scratch Online", Electronic Visualization and the Arts. Chartered Institute for IT.
  • Hjorth, I. (2011) "The emergence of cultural peer-production: Independent film making in the Wreckamovie community", ECREA's 3rd Digital Culture and Communication Workshop.

Journal articles


  • Graham, M., Lehdonvirta, V., Wood, A., Barnard, H., Hjorth, I. and Peter Simon, D. (2017) "The Risks and Rewards of Online Gig Work At the Global Margins" In: The Risks and Rewards of Online Gig Work At the Global Margins. Oxford: Oxford Internet Institute.
  • Gillani, N., Eynon, R., Osborne, M., Hjorth, I. and Roberts, S. (2014) Communication Communities in MOOCs.
  • Eynon, R., Gillani, N., Hjorth, I. and Yasseri, T. (2014) "Conceptualising interaction and learning in MOOCs" In: MOOC Research Initiative. Final Report.
  • Meyer, E.T. and Hjorth, I. (2013) Digitally Scratching New Theatre: London's Battersea Arts Centre Engaging via the Web.
  • Oostveen, A., Meyer, E., Cobo, C., Hjorth, I., Reisdorf, B., Papoutsi, C., Power, L., Abdel-Sattar, N., Hale, S. and Waldburger, M. (2011) First year report on scientific workshop, SESERV Deliverable D1.2, Socio-Economic Services for European Research Projects FP7-2010-ICT-258138-CSA.
  • Davies, C., Carter, A., Cranmer, S., Eynon, R.E., Furlong, J., Good, J., Hjorth, I., Lee, S., Malmberg, L. and Holmes, W. (2008) "The learner and their context - Interim report: Benefits of ICT use outside formal education. Interim report for Becta-funded project 'The learner and their context'" In: Harnessing Technology: the learner and their context – interim report: benefits of ICT use outside formal education. British Educational Communications and Technology Agency.



  • Pay crash expected in online gig economy as millions seek work

    24 March 2017 New Scientist

    A huge number of people in South-East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa looking for online “gig economy” work could cause a race to the bottom on pay and conditions, according to a new report from the Oxford Internet Institute.

  • M4JAM part of Oxford research on digital economy

    17 April 2015 Disrupt Africa

    South African micro-jobbing site M4JAM is contributing to the OII study of digital jobs, online freelancing and micro-work in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia

  • Delving into the sub-Saharan digital economy

    17 April 2015 Biztech Africa

    A full report on the study of micro-jobbing in sub-Saharan Africa which quotes Isis Hjorth talking about the results of the panel discussions.

  • SA microjobbing site shapes digital economy

    16 April 2015 IT-Online

    South African micro-jobbing site M4JAM quotes Isis Hjorth talking about the series of panel discussions hosted by the OII in South Africa as part of a study into digital jobs and online freelancing in Africa.