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Dr Thomas Rodgers

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Lecturer in Criminology and Sociology

I am a Sociologist and Criminologist whose teaching and research interests coalesce around contemporary political economy, social theory, social harm, and digital/social media. In 2017 I completed an ESRC 1+3 funded MA in Social Research and a PhD titled 'Into the Social Factory: an Investigation into Labour and Value in the Video-Games Industry'.

Following this, I came to the University of Sunderland in 2019-2020 to join the Faculty of Education and Society as a Lecturer in Criminology and Sociology. Having a long-standing interest in both Criminology and Sociology, my teaching and research cuts across both of these disciplines here at Sunderland's School of Social Sciences. In particular, I currently lead undergraduate modules on Criminological Theory, Sociological Theory, and Punishment and Society; I am also a dissertation supervisor and active lecturer on various modules within the School of Social Science's MSc Inequality and Society.

Alongside my role as a lecturer in both the Criminology and Sociology teams, I am also an active member of the Faculty's Centre for Applied Social Sciences (CASS).

Teaching and supervision

I teach across both the Criminology and Sociology undergraduate courses. In this capacity, I am the module leader for:

Undergraduate modules: 
  • SSC121: Classical Readings in Criminology
  • SSC206: Theoretical Issues in Criminology
  • SSC314: Punishment and Society
  • SOC131: Understanding Society: Concepts and Perspectives on Social Change

I also supervise dissertations for BSc (Hons) Sociology, BSc (Hons) Criminology and MSc Inequality and Society. I also teach specialist subject areas on MSc Inequality and Society.

Research interests for potential research students

  • Critical/Social/Cultural Theory
  • Criminological Theory
  • Political Economy (especially relating to: Labour, Value, and Values)
  • Violence, Hatred, and Social Harm
  • Digital/Social Media
  • Video Games


My doctoral thesis 'Into the Social Factory: an Investigation into Labour and Value in the Video-Games Industry' examined the processes of valorisation within the video-games industry through an interrogation of political economic theories of value in order to consider the continuing relevance of the latter to explain and interpret the interactions between the "rationales" of commercial media and the mass extraction of economic value from spheres of everyday social life - in this case video-gaming. I am currently in the process of preparing key sections of this project for publication as peer-reviewed journal articles that focus on, but are not limited to: theorising and researching the valorisation of everyday sociality; measurement, metrics and monetisation as valorisation strategies within the video-games industry; and, finally, an attempt to revisit the works of Isaak Rubin within the broader context of the extant 'value-critique' literature.

Alongside this, I have been working on developing my long-standing criminological interest in the roles new forms of popular media play in the dissemination and seeming 'normalisation' of hyper-masculinist, militaristic, and hatred-fuelled social value systems. This research interest of mine is a continuation from my collaborative work with Prof. Rowland Atkinson (University of Sheffield) published in 2016.


Number of items: 2.


Atkinson, Rowland and Rodgers, Tom (2016) Pleasure Zones and Murder Boxes: Online Pornography and Violent Video Games as Cultural Zones of Exception. British Journal of Criminology, 56 (6). pp. 1291-1307. ISSN 0007-0955

Conference or Workshop Item

Doyle, Lauren and Rodgers, Tom (2021) Doyle, L. & Rodgers, T. (2021) 'Social Media and the Vulnerability of the Digital World: Platforms Not Fit for Purpose?'. In: British Society of Criminology Annual Conference, Crime and Harm: Challenges of Social and Global Justice, 7-9 July 2021, Online.

This list was generated on Mon Aug 15 01:22:00 2022 BST.
  • Critical/Social/Cultural Theory
  • Criminological Theory
  • Political Economy (especially relating to: Labour, Value, and Values)
  • Violence, Hatred, and Social Harm
  • Digital/Social Media
  • Video Games
Written outputs and publications: 
  • Rodgers, T. (2014) 'Video-Gaming', in Atkinson, R. (ed) Shades of Deviance: A Primer on Crime, Deviance and Social Harm, pp 87-89, London: Routledge. 
  • Atkinson, R. and Rodgers, T. (2016) 'Pleasure Zones and Murder Boxes: Online Pornography and Violent Video-Games as Cultural Zones of Exception', British Journal of Criminology 56(6): 1291-1307.

Selected conference papers: 
  • Rodgers, T. (2011) 'Mobility, Time-Space and Dioramic Description: Exploring a Data Visualisation Method', Paper presented at Envisioning the Future of the Social Sciences, University of York. 
  • Atkinson, R. and Rodgers, T. (2011) 'Inside the Murder Box', Paper presented at Concentrationary Imaginaries/Imaginaries of Violence, Leeds University. 
  • Rodgers, T. (2012) 'Notes on the Value Logic of Social Media: Data, Measure and Monetisation', Paper presented at the ICS Symposium The Co-Production of Knowledge, University of York. 
  • Rodgers, T. (2014) 'Labour, Value and New Media: Some Notes Toward a Critical Project', Paper presented at the ESRC ISRF: Critique and Critiques, University of York.

Last updated 25 July 2022