Social Sciences: Social Media, Finance Technology, Media History

Department: Media Studies

Supervising Faculty Member: Lana Swartz

Specialization: Social Media/Finance Technology/Media History

Research Focus: I am currently writing a book under contract with Yale University Press about the social and cultural dimensions of new money technologies, such as Venmo, Square, and Bitcoin. In Media Studies, I am part of the field that studies the futures and histories of "new media," such as a social media platforms. In that context, I am one of the few scholars who is looking at financial technologies as a form of media. I look at the industry (for example: Why is Venmo so popular whereas other similar systems have failed?) and well as social dimension (for example: How is Venmo changing friendships and romantic relationships?).

Position Description: The student will assist in research for my book project. This will include some combination of: gathering journalistic coverage using databases like Proquest; qualitative content analysis of that coverage; qualitative content analysis of tweets and other social media (which I have already gather); qualitative analysis of interview transcripts.
The student will also assist in the publication process for the book. This could include tasks like: assisting in any additional IRB processes; tracking down missing references and sources; securing rights to images, etc.
Ideally, this will lead to a spin-off research publication or presentation that the student can co-author with me.

Required skills: good attention to detail; strong writing, grammar, etc.; intellectual curiosity

Computer software:


What you will learn: My student will gain expertise in:
1. Topical knowledge of both financial technology industry and the larger tech industry, as well as of existing scholarly debates in the study of these industries
2. Skills in several different qualitative research methods (content analysis, social media analysis, interview analysis)
3. Skills in various aspects of the research process, from IRB to publication

Web site link to research: