Dr Stefania Vicari
Laurea (Hons), MA, PhD
Department of Sociological Studies
Senior Lecturer in Digital Sociology
+44 114 222 6452
Full contact details
Department of Sociological Studies
Stefania joined the Department in September 2016 as a Senior Lecturer in Digital Sociology. Prior to this, she worked as a Lecturer in Sociology of Cultural and Communicative Processes at the University of Sassari, Italy, (2009-2010), and as a Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester (2011-2016).
Stefania's university life started at the University of Turin, Italy, where she was awarded a laurea in Communication Sciences (summa cum laude).
Stefania then moved to the UK to receive a Master in Globalization and Communications (Distinction) from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Reading. She spent her final year as a visiting PhD student at the Sociology Department of Emory University, USA.
- Research interests
Stefania’s work lies at the intersection of sociology and media and communication studies. Her overarching research interest is in digital media and social change.
Stefania has explored mundane social media practices of ‘talking politics’. Her work in this field has focused on deliberative processes in the contexts of the Global Justice Movement, the World Social Forum, the Cuban blogosphere and in several issue publics on the Italian and the English Twitter. Stefania has recently focused on Covid-19 memes as a form of political communication.
Social media and health advocacy:
Stefania is interested in the role of digital media in self-care, patient advocacy, health public debate, and health activism. Her main interest is in if, how and to what extent digital media may shape bottom-up, patient-centred health practices. Stefania's work in this area is currently looking at social media affordances for individuals with rare and hereditary health conditions.
Digital methods for cultural research:
Stefania uses a range of digital methods techniques informed by network theory and textual analysis (frame analysis, critical discourse analysis). As her recent work has focused on how linguistically or geographically local publics make themselves at home on global social media platforms, Stefania is specifically interested in developing combinations of ‘quanti’ and ‘quali’ methodological steps in digital methods designs.
- Digital platforms as socio-cultural artifacts: developing digital methods for cultural research. Information, Communication & Society. View this article in WRRO
- Memetising the pandemic : memes, covid-19 mundanity and political cultures. Information, Communication and Society. View this article in WRRO
- The pandemic across platform societies: Weibo and Twitter at the outbreak of Covid-19 in China and in the West. Howard Journal of Communications. View this article in WRRO
- Organisational hashtags during times of crisis : analysing the broadcasting and gatekeeping dynamics of #PorteOuverte during the November 2015 Paris terror attacks. Social Media + Society(Jan-Mar 2021), 1-13. View this article in WRRO
- One platform, a thousand worlds: On Twitter irony in the early response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. Social Media and Society, 6(3). View this article in WRRO
- Is it all about storytelling? Living and learning hereditary cancer on Twitter. New Media and Society. View this article in WRRO
- Political hashtag publics and counter-visuality: a case study of #fertilityday in Italy. Information Communication & Society. View this article in WRRO
- What's in a Text?: Answers from Frame Analysis and Rhetoric for Measuring Meaning Systems and Argumentative Structures. Rhetorica: a journal of the history of rhetoric, 36(4), 393-429. View this article in WRRO
- Twitter and Non-Elites: Interpreting Power Dynamics in the Life Story of the (#)BRCA Twitter Stream. Social Media and Society, 3(3), 1-14. View this article in WRRO
- Health activism and the logic of connective action. A case study of rare disease patient organisations. Information, Communication & Society, 19(11), 1653-1671. View this article in WRRO
- Exploring the Cuban blogosphere: Discourse networks and informal politics. New Media & Society, 17(9), 1492-1512.
- The Interpretative Dimension of Transformative Events: Outrage Management and Collective Action Framing After the 2001 Anti-G8 Summit in Genoa. Social Movement Studies, 14(5), 596-614.
- Blogging politics in Cuba: the framing of political discourse in the Cuban blogosphere. Media, Culture & Society, 36(7), 998-1015.
- Networks of Contention: The Shape of Online Transnationalism in Early Twenty-First Century Social Movement Coalitions. Social Movement Studies, 13(1), 92-109.
- Quantitative narrative analysis software options compared: PC-ACE and CAQDAS (ATLAS.ti, MAXqda, and NVivo). Quality & Quantity, 47(6), 3219-3247.
- Public reasoning around social contention: A case study of Twitter use in the Italian mobilization for global change. Current Sociology, 61(4), 474-490.
- Ways of Measuring Agency. Sociological Methodology, 42(1), 1-42.
- Measuring collective action frames: A linguistic approach to frame analysis. Poetics, 38(5), 504-525.
- BRINGING THE PANDEMIC HOME: MEMES AS LOCAL POLITICS AT TIMES OF GLOBAL CRISIS. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research.
- Digital Methods to Explore Public Opinion on Chinese Social Media: Learning About Lai Chi Ying’s Arrest on Weibo SAGE Publications, Ltd. View this article in WRRO
- Humans, COVID-19 and Platform Societies In Martin P, de Saille S, Liddiard K & Pearce W (Ed.), Being Human During COVID-19 (pp. 36-41). Bristol: Bristol University Press.
- Health, ICTs and the social In Reilly P, Veneti A & Atanasova D (Ed.), Politics, Protest, Emotion: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. A book of blogs. (pp. 148-152). Sheffield: Information School, University of Sheffield.
- Networks of Contention: The Shape of Online Transnationalism in Early Twenty-First Century Social Movement Coalitions In Crossley N & Krinsky J (Ed.), Social Networks and Social Movements: Contentious Connections (pp. 92-109). London: Routledge.
- Twitter and Public Reasoning Around Social Contention: The Case of #15ott in Italy In Tejerina B & Perugorria I (Ed.), From Social to Political. New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization (pp. 277-292). Bilbao: Servicio Editorial de la Universidad del Pais Vasco.
- Investigating Facebook walls: A quantitative approach to online community building In Krippendorff K & La Rocca G (Ed.), Qualitative research and young researchers (pp. 146-156). Palermo: Social Books.
- "Book Review: Sharing Our Lives Online: Risks and Exposure in Social Media by David R. Brake." LSE Review of books. LSE Review of books.
- "Book review: transnationalizing the public sphere by Nancy Fraser et al." LSE Review of books. LSE Review of books.
- 2022-2025: Leverhulme Trust, Research project grants scheme. Project Awarded: 'Previvorship in the platform society: Cancer genetic risk in the digital age’ (Principal Investigator). [Grant Ref. RPG-2021-152]
- 2018-2021: ESRC Project Awarded: 'Sustainable Consumption, the Middle Classes and Agri-food Ethics in the Global South’ (co-Investigator. Principal Investigator: Alex Hughes). [Grant Ref. ES/R005303/1]
- 2016-2017: Wellcome Trust, Society and Ethics Small Grants Scheme. Project Awarded: 'Twitting rare diseases on and off the "Jolie effect": A study of Twitter affordances for health public debate’ (Principal Investigator). [Grant Ref. 200223/Z/15/Z]
- 2016-2017: University of Leicester REF-Research Impact Development Fund Scheme. Project Awarded: 'Developing the Rare disease epatient multi-project research as an impact case study'.
- 2013-1014: Wellcome Trust, Society and Ethics Small Grants Scheme. Project Awarded: 'Bridging the gap between patients and carers: The case of rare disease patient-advocacy actors' (Principal Investigator). [Grant Ref: 101785/Z/13/Z].
- 2012-2013: British Academy, Small Research Grants scheme. Project awarded: 'The Cuban blogosphere: A leak of voice from an authoritarian regime to a global public' (Principal Investigator). [Grant Ref: SG112222].
- Teaching activities
Stefania is the Director of the Data Communication and New Technologies (DCT) pathway of the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership (WRDTP) for the Social Sciences.
From 2016 to 2020, she directed the newly born MA Digital Media and Society, also designing and convening the programme's core modules "Researching Digital Society", "Digital Methods" and "Dissertation is Digital Media and Society".
Since September 2022, Stefania has resumed leadership of the programme while still convening its core module SCS6081 Digital Methods.
- Professional activities
- Stefania is a member of the British Sociological Association, the International Communication Association and the Association of Internet Researchers.
- She has been an Editorial board member of Sociology since 2018.
- She has been a member of the ESRC Grant Assessment Panel B (Sociology) since September 2022.
- She has acted as a research grant peer reviewer for ESRC, Wellcome Trust, Volkswagen Foundation and MIUR (Ministry of Education, University and Research, Italy).
- She has acted as a peer reviewer for a range of academic journals, among which American Journal of Sociology, Information, Communication and Society, Journal of Computer-mediated Communication, Mobilization, New Media and Society, Social Media + Society, Social Movement Studies, Social Networks, Sociological Inquiry and Sociology.
- She has worked as an external examiner for the MA Communication and Media at the University of Leeds (2017-2021) and the MA Digital Media and Society at the University of Leicester (2021 - 2022).
- PhD Students
Stefania has supervised PhD projects looking at different aspects of digital media use, among which, digital literacy, digital activism and online political participation.
She is particularly interested in supervising students investigating participatory dynamics on digital media platforms and/or who wish to apply digital methods approaches.
Stefania also has a strong interest in projects looking at health and social media use.