Martin French is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University. He holds a PhD in Sociology from Queen’s University (2009). Prior to joining Concordia, he held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Toronto (in Health Policy, Management & Evaluation) and New York University (in Media, Culture & Communication). Martin’s research examines the social dimensions of technology with an empirical focus on communications & information technology (CIT). It emphasizes the broader social and political contexts of CIT, concentrating especially on questions related to risk, surveillance, privacy, and social justice. His work has been published in, among other places, Social Science & Medicine, Sociology of Health & Illness, Surveillance & Society, Critical Public Health and Social & Legal Studies.
Working through the prism of data, and focusing especially on the field of practices organized by the concept of ‘big data,’ Martin’s current research bridges sensory studies and surveillance studies in order to interrogate facets of the emerging ‘sensor society’. While the notion of the sensor society evokes a world saturated by sensing devices, where intelligent environments produce a massive amount of actionable data about the everyday lives of the actors and actants that transit through them, Martin’s current research documents the work of sensing assemblages at the level of practice. The goal is to produce an account not only of what is sensed, but also of what escapes sensation.