I am completing my Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara in June 2013. My research interests straddle political behavior and political communication.
I am interested in how changing values, social structures, and media systems affect political participation and public opinion. My dissertation research uses original, nationally representative US survey data to examine what motivates people to engage in political consumerism--the deliberate purchase or avoidance of products or brands for political or ethical reasons--and how political consumerism relates to other forms of political behavior. Some of this work is forthcoming in the journals of Political Studies and American Politics Research.
My other area of research addresses a larger debate in the political communication literature about the potential for digital media use to strengthen democracy by lowering the costs of communication and participation. One of my articles on this subject, "Digital Media and Traditional Political Participation over Time in the US," is featured in the current issue of the Journal of Information Technology & Politics. You can access this publication here. Another article, "Political Consumerism: Civic Engagement and the Social Media Connection," is forthcoming in the journal of New Media & Society.