CITASA is a vibrant section of the American Sociological Association, facilitating research and community building around several topics:
- The sociology of communication: This includes research on interpersonal and mediated communication, making the section the main conduit connecting sociological and communication research.
- As a section, we estimate that we have the largest membership overlap of any ASA section with the International Communication Association(ICA) and the National Communication Association (NCA).
- Many of the journals that section members publish in are also read by communication researchers and are interdisciplinary.
- We also have the largest number of academics appointed in Communication, media, or other similar departments in our fold, including past section officers and chairs.
- Media Systems:Our section recognizes that communication research is moving toward thinking about multiple media, media systems and ecologies, media convergence, and/or the intersection of media instead of “siloing” off one kind of media and studying it in isolation. Work done by section members contributes to the growth of research in this area. For instance, our Best Article Award winner in 2013, Shelley Boulianne, won for an article looking at the relationship between political interest and use of different forms of media (including print news, television news, and online news). A number of section members see themselves as media scholars, which fits within the communication studies of the section.
- The social aspects of computing, the Internet, new media, social media computer networks, and other communication and information technologies:Digital technologies are increasingly pervasive and important parts of life around the globe. Our section is the epicenter of research on digital technologies and the social impacts that flow from their usage. If it’s digital, someone in our section studies it! For instance, scholars study digital technologies in a wide variety of ways, including:
- Digital access and inequality, including research on digital divides, digital skills, and digital literacy.
- Digital media, including online news, social networking sites, and other forms of social media.
- Media in the digital age, including research on the impacts of digital media on non-digital media (e.g., research showing that traditional media, such as print news and television, have had to adjust to online competition).
- The social implications of computer and Internet usage, such as impacts of usage on political institutions and political contention, culture, communities, social networks, organizations, identity, romantic relationships, health and health care access, and educational choices and success, in addition to dozens of other impacts.
- The design and use of technology in teaching and research, including research on the properties of big data.Section members do research on and build applications for teaching and research. Want to know how digital tools are used in the classroom? Want to know someone who has built a digital tool for a classroom? Want to meet other folks for whom programming is a basic part of their research process? Then, join our section because all of these folks are members and our section strives to support and honor work that studies and/or builds technologies. More recently, this has expanded into an interest in big data and its social and computing complexities. Whether it’s how to analyze big data, or how to understand the privacy risks that may be inherent to it, this is the section that is focused on understanding these challenges.
We hope you see your research and teaching interests represented in the section and we hope to count you as a member of our thriving section!