PhD Researcher - University of Cambridge | Public relations | Civic & social tech

Richard J Dent

PhD Researcher: University of Cambridge | Public relations | Civic & social tech

PhD research: emerging social norms on the Internet
I am a PhD researcher at the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. My research examines online social norms, online social capital and the social implications of channel shift.

Channel shift is the process of relocating public or private services from face to face and telephone to the Internet. This creates new cost saving opportunities as well as personal challenges for some individuals attempting to conform to online social interactions.

PhD outputs and applications
• Emerging trends of social internet use – virtual assistants and companions, more inlusive social networking, online civic engagement, multiplayer gaming.
• Trends in human interaction and emerging social norms across multiple platforms – multiple explanations of social Internet use.
• Governance of large scale online social environments.


Read more about my PhD here.

 

Blog

  • Evidence for the UK Government’s Mental Health and Employers Independent Review Team

    Evidence for the UK Government’s Mental Health and Employers Independent Review Team

    This is evidence was written and submitted to help inform the UK Government’s research into upcoming mental health policy. 1. Advising employers about the mental health continuum. A study by Schomeris et al. (2017) found that employers might stigmatise mental health sufferers partly due to a lack of knowledge about[...]Read More »
  • Improbable’s new virtual worlds will need new social boundaries to thrive. Can pro-social AI offer a solution?

    Improbable’s new virtual worlds will need new social boundaries to thrive. Can pro-social AI offer a solution?

    Part of my PhD research has exposed a need for effective moderation in social environments online. This article explores how one company called Improbable could benefit from pro-social AI’s to help moderate the huge multiplayer world’s they are creating. Improbable’s second round of funding gives them the opportunity to break[...]Read More »
  • A tyranny of algorithms

    A tyranny of algorithms

    Originally published on University of Cambridge Sociology website: https://www.smhr.sociology.cam.ac.uk/blog/RwSMHandsDent Who regulates the algorithms that influence our experience online? That is the question Joss Hands, a lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University conducting research into media and critical theory, asked the Researching (with) Social Media reading group in November 2014. Algorithms analyse[...]Read More »
  • The campaign to help Jimmy Thoronka shows the internet’s power for good

    The campaign to help Jimmy Thoronka shows the internet’s power for good

    Originally printed in The Guardian on 10th March, 2015: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/10/campaign-jimmy-thoronka-internet-power-good Last Friday afternoon I was writing my PhD first year report. I was on a deadline and still had a chapter to write. I’m researching how social networks and crowdsourcing can help people in poverty and crisis. I took a[...]Read More »