Digital Sociology Podcast Episode 25: Scott Timcke, algorithms, politics, capitalism & racism

In this episode I spoke to Scott Timcke who is a comparative historical sociologist, with an interest in race, class, and technology in modernity. He is a research associate with the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Social Change and a fellow at the University of Leeds’ Centre for African Studies.


The basis of our discussion is Scott's book Algorithms and the end of Politics: How Technology Shapes 21st Century American Life which was published in 2021 by Bristol University Press.


Scott tells about how algorithms and processes of datafication are influencing how politics functions. In particular, how the role which particular form of capitalism which has been enabled by the internet and digital technologies and networks affects politics.


We talk about credit rating systems, the hidden ways in which we are influenced, Trump and the progress which needs to be made on considerations of race in our analysis of politics and technology amongst many other things.


It was was really fascinating to talk to Scott who has immense knowledge on how technology and politics function and is a great communicator.


I mention that Scott has been on my other podcast but as things have panned out this episode has come out before the other ones have. But those new Social Theory Podcasts will be coming out in a few weeks (after this current run of the Digital Sociology Podcast).


You can follow Scott on Twitter @scotttimcke and read his previous book Capital, State & Empire: The New American Way of Digital Warfare via the University of Westminster Press website (Open Access).