Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Having obtained my MA (Diplom) in Sociology in Germany and my interdisciplinary D.Phil. in Information, Communication, and the Social Sciences at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, I locate my research at the intersection of social and computational sciences. While working in a bakery to fund my MA degree, I developed a strong interest in the topic of digital divides and inequalities when a 20-year-old apprentice, who also worked at that bakery, was surprised and shocked to hear that I sent applications through the internet. She wondered why I would choose such a complicated way of sending my applications instead of printing them and sending them in the "normal" mail. Almost 10 years later, we still find a large number of people offline or barely online--even in highly technologized countries like the US. My multi-disciplinary research projects investigate this subject from a variety of perspectives and use a range of different methods where appropriate. The ultimate goal is the formulation of policy recommendations that can change the status quo and contribute to digital equity and social justice outcomes.
Digital divides and inequalities
I am interested in collaborations on digital divide and digital inequality research in highly technologized countries. In a number of cross-national and mixed methods projects, I have investigated narrow Internet users as well as non-users. I have recently shifted my focus to examining marginalized populations, such as communities of color.
Digital inequality and prisons
In a recent scoping exercise with a colleague in the UK, I investigated the impact of (forced) digital exclusion of prisoners during their incarceration and after their release from prison. Together with colleagues at Michigan State University, I am currently developing this project into two larger follow-on projects that examine how ICTs do and could feature in the prisoner reentry process to improve parolees' reentry experiences and outcomes.
2008 - 2012
University of Oxford, United Kingdom
D.Phil. Information, Communication, and the Social Sciences
2005 - 2008
Bielefeld University, Germany
Diplom (MA) Sociology
2002 - 2005
Philipps-University Marburg, Germany
Vordiplom (BA) Sociology
Digital Inequalities and Political Opinion Formation
In a large international project, funded by Google UK, I examine how different types of Internet use and digital skills affect the type of media used to find political information, as well as how it affects trust in different media sources.