About Us

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


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 transdisciplinary 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.

Research From The Cluster

Jeffrey Lane’s book The Digital Street is published

Jeffrey Lane’s book The Digital Street has been published by Oxford University Press. Based on five years of ethnographic observations, dozens of interviews, and analyses of social media content, the book illustrates a new street world where social media transforms how young people experience neighborhood violence and poverty.

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Khadijah Costley White publishes book The Branding of Right-Wing Activism

Khadijah Costley White has published The Branding of Right-Wing Activism: The News Media and The Tea Party with Oxford University Press. It discusses the Tea Party’s ascent to major political phenomenon and the way in which partisan and non-partisan news outlets “branded” the Party as a pot-stirrer in political conflicts over race, class, and gender.

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Marie Radford and “Cynergy” study online scholarly identity

Members of the Cynergy Research Team at Rutgers SC&I, led by Prof. Marie Radford, are exploring faculty, Ph.D. student, and librarian information practices and needs regarding management of their online scholarly identities using digital platforms such as Twitter, ResearchGate, and ORCID.

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Caitlin Petre explores audience analytics and algorithmic manipulation

As part of her ongoing research on the role of audience analytics in contemporary news production, Prof. Caitlin Petre wanted to understand why journalists often become addicted to analytics tools that measure the clicks, “likes,” and shares of their articles – even as they also resent the influence of such tools in their newsroom and their work.

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Social movement media analyzed by Jack Bratich

Prof. Jack Bratich continues his work on social movement media with an analysis of the Nuit Debout protests in France [Up All Night, Down for the Count?
 A Compositionist Approach to Nuit Debout” International Journal of Communication (12, 2018, pp. 1908–1927)].

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The Cluster Invites World-Class Scholars to SC&I

Nancy Baym
New Media, New Work, and the New Call to Intimacy


Daniel Kreiss
Technology-Intensive Governance


Lance Bennett
Democratic Mobilization in the Digital Age


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

Join one of our graduate programs to find out.