Dr Hannah Ditchfield (she/her)


Department of Sociological Studies

Research Associate

Hannah Ditchfield
Profile picture of Hannah Ditchfield
+44 114 222 6419

Full contact details

Dr Hannah Ditchfield
Department of Sociological Studies
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH

Hannah joined the department of Sociological Studies in 2018. She worked as a University Teacher in Digital Media and Society between 2018-2020 and as a Research Associate on Living With Data: Knowledge, Experience and Perceptions of Data Practices between 2020-2022.

She is now a Research Associate on Previvorship in the Platform Society: Cancer Genetic Risk in the Digital Age 

Hannah completed her PhD in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester in 2018 where she also worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (2013-2017).

She studied for her MA and BSc in Communication and Media at Loughborough University, UK.

Research interests

Hannah's research centres on everyday experiences and uses of digital media. Her work has explored the relationship between the affordances of social media platforms and how people present self and interact with others. She is also interested in what people think, and how people talk about, digital media in everyday scenarios. She has used various digital and qualitative methods in her work including: screen capture technology, API tools, interviews & focus groups (using elicitation and scroll back methods), qualitative content analysis, conversation and discursive analysis.

Research Projects:

Previvorship in the Platform Society: Cancer Genetic Risk in the Digital Age
Hannah has been a Research Associate on Previvorship in the Platform Society since 2022. This project focuses on the social media uses, and experiences, of 'previvors': healthy individuals coping with the awareness of having a genetic predisposition to cancer. It explores two genetic conditions: BRCA 1/2 and Lynch Syndrome and investigates how social media influence the way people understand and experience this risk. Hannah is currently exploring how 'previvors' present self, and utilise social media affordances, on TikTok.

Living with Data: Knowledge, Experience and Perceptions of Data Practices 
Hannah was a Research Associate on Living with Data between 2020-2022. Her work involved conducting interviews and focus groups with 'non experts' to explore what they thought, and how they felt, about specific data uses in the public sector. Hannah is currently writing about how people use 'imagining' as a form of reflectivity when talking about complicated data uses.

Behind the Screen of Facebook: An Interactional Study of Pre-Post Editing and Multicommunication in Online Social Interaction 
Hannah completed her PhD at the University of Leicester between 2013-2018. The project explored online interaction on Facebook focusing on how social media users utilised the affordances of the platform within their everyday talk. She used screen capture technology to record users screens whilst they were online to capture how they edited their messages before sending them to their audience as well as how they managed and negotiated holding multiple conversations at once. This work theoretically drew on Goffman and methodologically on from conversation analysis and highlighted the significance of studying the ‘behind the screen’ spaces of the online world.


Journal articles


  • Ditchfield H (2021) Interactionism and online identity: how has interactionism contributed to understandings of online identity? In vom Lehn D, Ruiz-Junco, N & Gibson W (Ed.), The Routledge International Handbook of Interactionism Routledge RIS download Bibtex download
  • Ditchfield H (2021) Ethical challenges in collecting and analysing online interactions In Meredith J, Giles D & Stommel W (Ed.), Analysing Digital Interaction Palgrave Macmillan RIS download Bibtex download
  • Ditchfield H & Lunt P (2020) Re-configuring synchronicity and sequentiality in online interaction: Multicommuniciation on Facebook messenger In Kaun A, Pentzold C & Lohmeier C (Ed.), Making Time for Digital Lives: Beyond Chronotopia London: Rowman & Littlefield. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Flick U (2018) The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Collection SAGE Publications Ltd RIS download Bibtex download

Book reviews


  • Ditchfield H, Kennedy H, Oman S, Pinney E, Bates J, Fratczak M, Medina Perea I & Taylor M (2022) Report on Living With Data Interviews & Focus Groups RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kennedy H, Taylor M, Oman S, Bates J, Medina Perea I, Ditchfield H & Pinney E (2021) Living with Data survey report RIS download Bibtex download

Website content

  • Oman S, Ditchfield H & Kennedy H To understand uses of personal data in the present, people draw on the past and imagine the future. RIS download Bibtex download
Teaching activities

Hannah has led and taught on modules such as:

  • Digital Identities
  • Social Media, Data and Society
  • Sociology of the Media
  • Digital Media and Society Dissertation
  • Academic Skills

She has also supervised BA and MA dissertation students on a variety of topics relating to digital media and society