About Us

The Social Media and Society Cluster is an interdisciplinary group of faculty at Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information whose research explores social media and society.

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Welcome to the Social Media & Society Cluster!

The Social Media & Society Cluster is a transdisciplinary unit within Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information that supports research that extends across the boundaries of the i-School, communication, and media studies programs within the School. Consisting of faculty from the departments of Communication, Journalism and Media Studies, and Library and Information Science, our faculty offer an interdisciplinary PhD program, as well as a Master of Communication and Information Studies and a Master of Information. A key element of our program involves mentoring from these faculty that encourages direct involvement in cutting edge research.


Embracing the interdisciplinary nature of research in this area, our faculty represent multiple communities, including communication, complexity, journalism, sociology, media studies, computer science, and organizational behavior. Included within our faculty are some of the most prominent in the world doing research in the area of new media, community informatics, social informatics, urban informatics, human-computer interaction, social network analysis, network science, and computer-mediated communication.

Latest Research From The Cluster

Political actors and strategic use of social media

This project examines the behavior of political actors (US Members of Congress) on the microblogging service Twitter. In addition to the structure of political relationships on the platform, the study explores strategic hashtag and language use. Ognyanova has also examined data collected by Politwoops: an international project that tracks politicians on Twitter... read more

SOcial and CRowdsourced AcTivities Extraction System (SOCRATES)

SOCRATES is a social-computational system and platform for the study of social media using crowdsourcing. It is both a framework and a technical system through which researchers can collect content from one or more social media sources, explore the collected content to help generate hypotheses, and analyze the content... read more


Mary Chayko’s research explores the impact of the internet, social media and digital technology on individuals, communities, networks and societies. It has contributed to current understandings of the reality of the online experience, the intersection of the online and the offline, and opportunities for and consequences of digital social connectedness... read more

The Heart Work of Wikipedia: Gendered, Emotional Labor in the World’s Largest Online Encyclopedia

In collaboration with Amanda Menking (University of Washington), Ingrid Erickson is exploring the experiences of women editors in Wikipedia through the lens of emotion work--a theory developed by sociologist, Arlie Hochschild. Building off of open-ended interviews, Menking and Erickson detail the kinds of tasks women Wikipedians choose to do, their motivations and rationales for participating in the Wikipedia community,.. read more

Latest Videos From The Cluster

Superconnected: The Internet, Digital Media, and Techno-Social Life

Archived Internet Data and the Changing News Ecosystem

Social Search: Information Seeking Through Social Media

How is social media related to individuals, organizations and society?

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