Programme: Architecture - PhD/MPhil/MSc by Research

Start date: September 2019

Mode of study: Full time

Research title: An Ontology of Airbnb: How the platform makes knowledge, place, and controversies in the city

Addie McGowan is a PhD candidate who holds the Share City joint studentship, in the Future Cities group of funded projects, across the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow. She studies the sharing economy in the city by way of exploring how home sharing platforms like Airbnb (co)produce urban knowledge of place via their digital and social infrastructures. Her research interests include platforms, tourism, advertising, and digital culture, and is supervised between Architecture (ESALA, Professor Richard Coyne) and Sociology (SPS at U of Edinburgh, Professor Nick Prior, and U of Glasgow, Professor Bridgette Wessels). 

She holds an MSc in Digital Society from the University of Edinburgh (2018) and a BA in Sociology and Communication from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX USA (2008). In the near decade between her BA and MSc, Addie built a career in digital marketing, working as a digital strategist at various firms in the United States. The practical knowledge of the digital landscape she gained from this work ultimately inspired her return to academia to ask sociological questions of the platforms, data, and practices she encountered. 

Addie has tutored on the following courses in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh: 

In addition to her thesis research, she has contributed to funded research projects: 


McGowan A. Book Review: The Platform Society: Public Values in a Connected World. Cultural Sociology. 2021;15(1):160-161. doi:10.1177/1749975520959306