The principle guiding this work is that context matters. Audience preferences ( “agency” in some fields) are always shaped within a certain context (which sociologists call “structure”).
In my research projects I try to identify how context influences people’s media choices. My ongoing work explores several empirical contexts:
- Global Web Use (scroll down for more)
- Cross Platform Media Use in the US (detailed below)
- Global Bollywood – How online platforms and globally dispersed Indian diaspora shape Bollywood into a global regional culture ?
- Impact of 2014 elections on online news usage in India – How does increased interest in news alter patterns of news consumption?
- Understanding Patterns of Global Web Use: The impetus of this project is to empirically provide on a “Global” scale a usage based perspective of the World Wide Web (and offer a corrective to the techno-centric vision of the WWW) . So far:
- In my dissertation, I analyzed global traffic to the 1000 most popular web domains and conclusively showed that Language and Geography matter more than content genres and hyperlinks on this completely connected medium (article in Journal of Communication)
- Extending this analysis (with Angela Xiao Wu) we demonstrated that the Great Firewall has minimal impact in explaining Chinese Web User Behavior
- (Angela Xiao Wu and) I advocated and demonstrated how the Internet can be reimagined by focusing on usage rather than technical connectivity. We mapped global Internet Usage in 2009, 2011 and 2013 in this article in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
- Cross Platform Media Usage: We demonstrated how media use in the age of abundant choices is still intimately tied to routines and rhythms of everyday life.
- In this article in New Media and Society We showed that media use across platforms is wedded to how people spend their day and device (or platform) loyalties rather than content loyalty.
- We found (article here) that if people spend a lot of time at home or are with others, they consume a lot of traditional (linear) TV, no matter whether they are young or old, male or female.