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Andrew Schrock is a recent Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California. I am currently active in the public and educational sectors in Southern California as faculty at Woodbury University and co-director of the Long Beach Community Database. My interests in communication and technology include computer-mediated communication, mobile communication, political/civic engagement, communities, and technical cultures (i.e. “hackers”). My research in the areas of Data and Democracy and Mobile Communication has appeared in New Media & Society; the International Journal of Communication; Information, Communication & Society; and American Behavioral Scientist.

Data & Democracy

I research how governments, organizations and residents conceptualize and use data for civic purposes. I’m especially interested in how people become involved in data issues, collaborative policy-making, and institutional change outside of electoral politics. This work draws on theory from civic participation, distributed expertise, and data infrastructures. I also advocate for a responsive and responsible government through work and volunteering; I’m a director of the Long Beach Community Database and am on Long Beach’s Technology and Innovation Commission. From 2015 to 2016 I was the first Civic Data Fellow for the city of Los Angeles and have worked with the city’s Innovation Delivery Team. I’m currently working on a book manuscript provisionally titled “Data Alternatives” to the big data paradigm. This area has a partial overlap with research on hacking and hacker cultures, particularly involving blended online/offline and co-present collaboration (hackerspaces, hackathons).

Mobile Communication

I also research how mobile social media alter the form and function of everyday communication. My dissertation used quantitative and qualitative methodologies to explore how mobile practices enabled social cohesion and visual communication in the context of new parents. This theme extended from my MA thesis, which explored young adult dependency with social network sites (SNSs). This body of work draws from literature in sociology, computer-mediated communication (CMC), media ecologies, and affordances. Articles from my dissertation have been published in the International Journal of Communication and Social Media + Society. The next phase of this work is a theoretical update of Media System Dependency (MSD) to what I’m calling “mesh theory.”

Brief Bio

I received my BA in computer science and fine art with honors from Brandeis University. After graduation I worked as a software developer and project manager, periodically penning articles on technology and music. At University of Central Florida I majored in communication and taught in the Digital Media department. My thesis examined habitual use of social network sites among youth groups. This work led me to California, where I was a research assistant to danah boyd and assistant director of the Annenberg Program on Online Communities. In 2009 I returned to work towards my Ph.D at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California, which I received in May 2015. During this time I worked closely with François Bar on community-led design and Henry Jenkins on civic engagement through his Civic Paths group. I have also been a member of research groups including Metamorphosis, the Annenberg Innovation lab, and Civic Tech USC. In my spare time I work on my garden, spend time with my daughter, and explore Los Angeles’ diverse communities.