In my dissertation I explore and critique the previously under-examined democratic foundations of canonical works in the field of Information Society - a field that has defined at least in part how we think today about the role of information technologies in a democratic society. My research traces the intellectual histories, and tells a culturally-situated narrative, of era-defining scholars such as Daniel Bell, Manuel Castells, and Yochai Benkler. It also points to the work of many others whose thought these scholars inevitably influenced.
More broadly speaking, in my dissertation I examine the intellectual and scholarly origins of our most cherished beliefs, hopes, and concerns about the role of information technologies -- mainly the Internet -- in our increasingly complicated digital democracies.
I also do research in Consumer Privacy at the Center for Internet and Society (CIS) at the Stanford Law School, where I work with Dr. Jen King. At CIS I write about privacy theory and conduct experiments and surveys that measure privacy attitudes. My research at CIS is twofold: First, I write about privacy as a theoretical concept (in other words, I try to figure out what privacy is, and what it isn't in the newly forming digital landscape of information flows). In one of my co-authored papers, for example, I interrogate the relationships and conceptual compatibility between Nissenbaum's view of Privacy as Contextual Integrity and Social Exchange Theory's framework that views privacy as a relationship of power within broader information-based social structures.
journalism research (past)
Over the years as a researcher at Stanford I’ve been also interested in the role that technologies play in reshaping journalism practices. I've written and presented in conferences on this issue, mainly focusing on the democratic implications of digitally-enabled collaboration and big data applications in American journalism. I argue that integrating new technological tools in American journalism (eg.: large databases) operates more so as accelerators, rather than as disruptors of pre-existing and long-established cultural norms, rituals, and professional practices. The democratic role of journalism is not necessarily strengthened with the integration of new technologies, as many have celebrated time and again. Actually, in certain circumstances it may undermine journalism's role in promoting the quality of debate in the public sphere.