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I’m Andrew Schrock, a recent Ph.D. graduate of the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California. My research in communication and technology is oriented around two complementary topic areas:

Data & Democracy

I seek to understand the social and political implications of a shift towards data-driven governance. I’m interested in moments of public participation, or conversely, how government might be more considerate of the public good. Several articles and chapters map communication in the “civic technology” movement – municipal governments, organizations and “civic hackers” involved in data interpretation and software production. This work tends to be culturally situated and draws on literature in political participation, technical or “hacker” cultures, and data infrastructures. I also advocate for responsive and responsible government by working and volunteering in the public sector; during summer 2015 I was a Civic Data Fellow for the city of Los Angeles and am on Long Beach’s Technology and Innovation Commission.

Mobile Communication

I also research how longitudinal shifts in mobile and social media alter the form and function of communication. I’m particularly interested in social cohesion and visual communication, topics explored in my dissertation in the context of new parents. This work extends research I performed with danah boyd on online communication habits of teens, and my MA thesis, which explored youth dependency relations with social network sites (SNSs). Theoretically this work draws on media ecologies, affordances, and sociology. Articles from my dissertation are under review. I’m also working with Jeffrey Boase on a tool that combines data sets from mobile devices and social network sites.

My research has appeared in New Media & Society; the International Journal of Communication; Information, Communication & Society; and American Behavioral Scientist. I’m currently working with the E-Rhythms Project on mobile communication led by Jeff Boase, and Open Data LA, which is examining open government data in Los Angeles. My preferred quantitative and qualitative methods include trace data analysis, surveys, interviews, and participant observation. Specific research interests include:

  • Mobile communication
  • Civic engagement and political participation
  • Social Media
  • Visual Communication
  • Hacking and Hacker culture
  • Open Data

In my spare time I work on my garden, spend time with my daughter, and hack payphones as a form of collaborative design with communities around Los Angeles.