Isis is a cultural sociologist focusing on emerging practices related to networked technologies. She is currently researching microwork and virtual production networks in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, working with multiple colleagues at the OII.
Dr Isis Hjorth
Research Associate and DPhil Alumna
- +44 (0)1865 612775
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.
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
Skills formation and skills matching in online platform work: Practices and policies for promoting crowdworkers’ continuous learning (CrowdLearn)
Participants: Professor Vili Lenhdonvirta, Professor Anoush Margaryan, Dr Huw C. Davies, Laura Larke, Sian Brooke, Julian Albert
Despite the rapid growth of online platform labour, little is known about how crowdworkers acquire and develop their skills. This project seeks to address this important gap in our knowledge.
Participants: Professor Mark Graham, Dr Isis Hjorth, Professor Vili Lehdonvirta, Dr Alex J Wood, Professor Helena Barnard
This project aims to understand the implications of gig economy and online freelancing for economic development.
Participants: Professor Rebecca Eynon, Dr Isis Hjorth, Dr Taha Yasseri, Nabeel Gillani
This project examines the extent to which social learning can be supported in the large online crowds of MOOCs.
Participants: Professor Rebecca Eynon, Dr Chris Davies, Dr Isis Hjorth, Dr Taha Yasseri, Nabeel Gillani
The overarching goal of this project is to propose a typology that describes the nature of learner interactions in MOOCs that develops our understanding of how learning takes place in such settings.
Participants: Professor Eric T. Meyer, Dr Isis Hjorth
Theatre and dance have fallen a long way behind music in the way they connect with audiences digitally. This project aims to understand how audiences can be engaged in the creative process, by evaluating the BAC's Scratch Online platform.
- (2016) "Understanding Communication Patterns in MOOCs: Combining Data Mining and qualitative methods" In: Data Mining and Learning Analytics: Applications in Educational Research El Atia, S., Ipperciel, D. and Zaïane, O. (eds.). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. 207-221.
- (2016) "UNDERSTANDING COMMUNICATION PATTERNS IN MOOCs", Data Mining and Learning Analytics: Applications in Educational Research.
- (2016) "Virtual Production Networks: Fixing Commodification and Disembeddedness", Development Studies Association 2016. DSA 2016: Development Studies Association Conference.
- (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.
- (2016) "Virtual Production Networks: Fixing Commodification and Disembeddedness", GPNs and social upgrading: labour and beyond - WorkshopWorkshop: GPNs and social upgrading: labour and beyond.
- (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.
- (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).
- (2012) "The forms of capital in peer-production", WikiSym Doctoral Colloquium.
- (2012) "Is fuzziness a given: the boundaries of ethnographic enquiry online", Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) Doctoral Symposium.
- (2012) "Managerial mechanisms and leadership in peer produced films", Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) Annual Meeting.
- (2012) "Connecting performance artists with digital audiences: A case study of Scratch Online", Electronic Visualization and the Arts. Chartered Institute for IT.
- (2011) "The emergence of cultural peer-production: Independent film making in the Wreckamovie community", ECREA's 3rd Digital Culture and Communication Workshop.
- (2017) "Digital labour and development: impacts of global digital labour platforms and the gig economy on worker livelihoods", Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research. 23 (2) 135-162.
- (2014) "Structural limitations of learning in a crowd: communication vulnerability and information diffusion in MOOCs.", CoRR. abs/1411.3662 (1) 6447.
- (2012) "Cross-disciplinary lessons for the future internet", Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics). 7281 LNCS 42-54.
- (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.
- (2014) Communication Communities in MOOCs.
- (2014) "Conceptualising interaction and learning in MOOCs" In: MOOC Research Initiative. Final Report.
- (2013) Digitally Scratching New Theatre: London's Battersea Arts Centre Engaging via the Web.
- (2011) First year report on scientific workshop, SESERV Deliverable D1.2, Socio-Economic Services for European Research Projects FP7-2010-ICT-258138-CSA.
- (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.
27 November 2015
The OxCrowd project examines the extent to which social learning can be supported in the large online crowds of MOOCs.
27 October 2015
Drawing on a multiyear digital ethnography of an online filmmaking community, this session provides insights into production cultures enabling crowdsourced films.
9 February 2015
In this talk Sarah Kember will speak to her formulation of mediation as a vital process, as outlined in her recent book Life After New Media.
Venture Labour for the social media era: Entrepreneurship as an employment strategy – Panel discussion
2 February 2015
In this panel discussion, Professor Gina Neff from University of Washington will join panelists from Oxford to discuss labour and entrepreneurship in the social media era.
Thursday 24 - Friday 25 March 2011
Networked devices and resources are facilitating new artistic audiovisual practices and cultures: this multi-disciplinary workshop focuses on these diverse creative practices, bringing together people interested in understanding and shaping remix cinema.
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.
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
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.
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.