Dr Susan Oman

MA (City University, London), PhD (Manchester)

Information School

Lecturer in Data, AI and Society

Susan Oman
s.m.oman@sheffield.ac.uk

Full contact details

Dr Susan Oman
Information School
Regent Court (IS)
211 Portobello
Sheffield
S1 4DP
Profile

I joined the Information School in June 2020 from the Department of Sociological Studies, where I started in September 2019. Prior to this, I held two consecutive AHRC fellowships looking at data in the creative economy: one, in the Sheffield Methods Institute (2019), and one in the School of Media and Communications at the University of Leeds (2018).

I completed my interdisciplinary PhD, based in Sociology and the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC) at the University of Manchester in 2017. This investigated the cultural politics of participation and well-being; it was specifically concerned with the contexts of metrics and knowledge production for policy. My MA was in Cultural Policy and Management and her BA was in Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

I was recently awarded an Honorary fellowship to the Institute of Cultural Practices at University of Manchester in recognition of my research on methods, data and partnership working in the cultural sector.

My monograph, Understanding Wellbeing Data: Improving Social and cultural policy, practice and research will be published open access by Palgrave Macmillan in Easter 2021.

University responsibilities

  • Research, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead
     
Research interests

I research how data and evidence work in practice, looking at particular policy issues, such as well-being, loneliness, inequality and class. My research is situated in the sociology of knowledge and focuses on the role of knowledge in social change. I seek to develop practice and policy-relevant understanding through methodologically rigorous projects that have practical impact in various ways. I achieve this through working with relevant stakeholders, academics and non-academic research partners within her institution, across the UK and internationally.

I worked on the AHRC-funded projects: Data, diversity and inequality in the creative industries and What constitutes ‘good data’ in the creative economy?. I am co-Investigator on the Living with data project. The Living with data website profiles my research in a section called: How data work in contexts.

I have previously led a systematic review of data and literature for a Wellcome-funded project to investigate subjective well-being as a metric for the cultural sector. During my PhD I was awarded funding from The University of Manchester’s Student Union to lead a project to investigate postgraduate well-being in the institution through qualitative fieldwork and survey re-analysis.

Publications

Show: Featured publications All publications

Journal articles

Chapters

Reports

  • Oman S (2020) Public understanding and perceptions of data practices: a review of existing research RIS download Bibtex download
  • Oman S (2019) Measuring Social Mobility in The Creative and Cultural Industries – The importance of working in partnership to improve data practices and address inequality. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Oman S (2019) Improving data practices to monitor inequality and introduce social mobility measures View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Other

  • Oman S (2018) A Question of Class: how do social inequality metrics work in cultural organisations?. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Oman S (2018) The inequality challenge in the arts. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Oman S (2017) ‘Student Experience Survey 2017: investigating well-being at university’,. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Oman S (2015) Access in Higher Education: A triumph of hope over experience?. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Oman S (2015) Why government issued well-being may not make us happier. RIS download Bibtex download

All publications

Journal articles

Chapters

Book reviews

  • Oman S (2016) Making Culture Count: The Politics of Cultural Measurement, (eds) MacDowall et al., Cultural Trends, Volume 25, Issue 2, 2016 Special Issue: Methodologies.. Cultural Trends, 25(2). RIS download Bibtex download

Reports

  • Oman S (2020) Public understanding and perceptions of data practices: a review of existing research RIS download Bibtex download
  • Oman S (2019) Measuring Social Mobility in The Creative and Cultural Industries – The importance of working in partnership to improve data practices and address inequality. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Oman S (2019) Improving data practices to monitor inequality and introduce social mobility measures View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Other

  • Oman S (2018) A Question of Class: how do social inequality metrics work in cultural organisations?. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Oman S (2018) The inequality challenge in the arts. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Oman S (2017) ‘Student Experience Survey 2017: investigating well-being at university’,. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Oman S (2015) Access in Higher Education: A triumph of hope over experience?. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Oman S (2015) Why government issued well-being may not make us happier. RIS download Bibtex download
Teaching interests

My teaching is research-led and focuses on how students interact with ideas of knowledge in a number of ways that aims to:

  • Challenge widespread assumptions about data and evidence and how they are used to reinforce particular ideas or political projects.
  • Familiarise students with methodologies, ethics and practicalities of data collection and analysis.
  • Enable students to Reflect reflect on potential real-world impacts of their current and future practices and to present examples from different domains and industries.  
Teaching activities

I teach on two core modules in the School: ‘Data and Society’ on our MSc Data Science and ‘Digital Media and Society’ that is part of the Faculty of Social Science’s new Digital Media and Society degree.

Professional activities

Selected Media Appearances:

Media comment:

Research featured:

Membership

  • Honorary Research Fellow of the Institute of Cultural Practices, University of Manchester https://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/icp/about/our-people/
  • Established the Culture Insights Managers network – a sector support network to support and train data practitioners in the cultural sector
  • Member of the PKP network: an international network of female policy, knowledge and practice researchers
  • Associate member of SKAPE centre for Science, Knowledge and Policy, University of Edinburgh