Description

My research explores how the internet is changing political participation. This relates to two themes from the Research and Innovation Strategy: democratic citizenship and future and emerging technologies. By drawing on a combination of qualitative, quantitative, and computational methods, I try to empirically observe how digital tools underpin the personalised political attitudes and behaviours that characterise contemporary citizenship. My previous work focuses on this across different levels of analysis, including my first monograph, which examines how routine social media use shapes the political behaviour of citizens, and meso-level studies on 38 Degrees, the BBC, and BuzzFeed.

As part of this fellowship, I plan to develop this focus into a new interdisciplinary research agenda on how young people in areas of low social mobility in England use digital media to consume news and participate in politics. This relates to two of the focus areas: inclusive communities and audiences of the future. Against a backdrop of austerity, seismic political change (e.g. Brexit), and concerns surrounding media literacy, this project will examine the conditions of political engagement within those demographics that are most at risk of digital misinformation. I seek to offer evidence-based solutions for improving critical skills when consuming political content online.

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