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Media Studies

Researchers in this area study the practices, industries, meanings, mental processing, and influences of media. Our research examines the complex ways in which traditional and emerging media shape and are shaped by wider society, and the social and psychological processes people use to give meaning to media and media messages. The forms of media we encounter become ever more digital, networked, and mobile, this research area increasingly includes a critical understanding of media. Media are situated within particular social contexts, and can be examined through their varying contents, forms, structures, influences, and processes.

Recent research projects in this area include:

  • Analyses of the effects of exposure to political advertising on mental health and well-being
  • Documenting how local TV news cover social issues like housing, child care and parental leave
  • Visual analysis of skin tone of models on retail websites
  • Examination of the platformization of the media industries
  • Social construction of the monarch butterfly as an environmental icon
  • The shift from identity-based niches to algorithmic sorting of LGBTQ consumer markets
  • Understanding how people interpret the motivations and actions of complex and morally ambiguous characters in entertainment media