Image of Stefania VicariDr Stefania Vicari

Senior Lecturer in Digital Sociology

(laurea (summa cum laude), MA, PhD)

Telephone: 0114 222 6452 (external) 26452 (internal)
Room: Elmfield, LG13

My office hours are on Monday. If you are a student in one of the modules that I convene or one of my personal tutees, you can book an appointment with me here.


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.


Stefania's overarching research interest is in dynamics of civic engagement on digital platforms of communication. Her approach to online data is based on a variety of textual analysis techniques - with an increasing focus on text analytics - informed by social network and framing theories. Stefania specifically focuses on:

  • Digital activism: Stefania's early research focused on how digital media ease upward and downward scale shifts (i.e., from local to transnational and vice versa) in framing grievances. Work in this camp investigated the Global Justice Movement and the World Social Forum. Stefania is also particularly interested in social media use with relevance to public sphere processes in the context of protest events, issue publics, everyday talk. Her work in this field has specifically focused on interactional and deliberative processes in the Cuban blogosphere and on meaning construction on Twitter streams relevant to anti-austerity protests in Italy.
  • Digital health. Stefania is interested in the role of digital media in health democratizing processes, especially in processes of self-care, patient advocacy, health public debate, and health activism. Her main interest is in if, how and to what extent digital media may enhance bottom-up, patient-centred health practices. Stefania's work in this area is currently looking at online affordances for rare disease patient organisations in advocacy and activist dynamics and rare disease discourse practices on Facebook and Twitter.

Funded projects

  • 2018-2020: 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].


For the past seven years Stefania has designed and developed core and option modules in the area of media and communication at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, having been awarded a Higher Education Academy Fellowship in 2014. Her teaching is research-led and student-centred, with extensive experience of working with international student groups.

Stefania is currently Programme Manager for the MA Digital Media and Society and convenes the modules:

  • SCS2024 Digital Media and Social Change (undergraduate)
  • SCS6081 Digital Methods (postgraduate)
  • SCS6083 Digital Media and Society Dissertation (postgraduate)

Postgraduate supervision

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.

To find out more about our PhD programmes, go to:
Studying for a PhD in Sociology

To apply for a place and for the scholarship, go to:


Publications since 2005

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Stefania Vicari, Laura Iannelli & Elisabetta Zurovac (2018): Political hashtag publics and counter-visuality: a case study of #fertilityday in Italy, Information, Communication & Society, DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2018.1555271

Franzosi, R. & Vicari, S. (2018). 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, Vol. 36 No. 4: 393-429. DOI: 10.1525/rh.2018.36.4.393

Vicari, S. (2017). Twitter and Non-Elites: Interpreting Power Dynamics in the Life Story of the (#)BRCA Twitter Stream, Social Media + Society 3(3). DOI: 10.1177/2056305117733224.

Vicari, S. & Cappai, F. (2016) 'Health Activism and the Logic of Connective Action. A Case Study of Rare Disease Patient Organisations'. Information, Communication & Society. (Published online 21 March 2016, DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2016.1154587).

Vicari, S. (2015). 'The interpretative dimension of transformative events: Outrage management and collective action framing after the 2001 Anti-G8 Summit in Genoa'. Social Movement Studies. (Published online 15 January 2015, DOI: 10.1080/14742837.2014.995076).

Vicari, S. (2015). 'Exploring The Cuban Blogosphere: Discourse Networks and Informal Politics'. New Media and Society 17(9) 1492– 1512. (Published online 1 April 2014, DOI: 10.1177/1461444814529285).

Vicari, S. (2014). 'Blogging Politics in Cuba: The Framing of Political Discourse in the Cuban Blogosphere'. Media Culture and Society 36(7) 998–1015 (DOI: 10.1177/0163443714536082).

Vicari, S. (2014). 'Networks of Contention: The Shape of Online Transnationalism in Early Twenty-First Century Social Movement Coalitions' Social Movement Studies 13(1): 92-109, special issue ‘Social Networks and Social Movements'. (Published online 19 September 2013, DOI:10.1080/14742837.2013.832621).

Vicari, S. (2013). 'Public Reasoning Around Social Contention: A Case Study of Twitter Use in the Italian Mobilization for Global Change' Current Sociology, 61(4): 474-490, special issue 'From Indignation to Occupation: A New Wave of Global Mobilization'. (Published online 17 April 2013, DOI: 10.1177/0011392113479747).

Franzosi, R.; Doyle, S.; McClelland, L., Putnam, C. and Vicari, S. (2013) 'Quantitative Narrative Analysis. Software Options Compared: PC-ACE and CAQDAS (ATLAS.ti, MAXqda, and NVIVO)'. Quality and Quantity 47(6): 3219-3247 (Published online 27 April 2012, DOI: 10.1007/s11135-012-9714-3).

Franzosi, R.; De Fazio, G. and Vicari, S. (2012) 'Ways of Measuring Agency: An Application of Quantitative Narrative Analysis to Lynching in Georgia (1875-1930)' Sociological Methodology 42(1): 1-41.(DOI: 10.1177/0081175012462370).

Vicari, S. (2010). Measuring collective action frames: A linguistic approach to frame analysis. Poetics 38(5): 504-525.

Vicari, S. (2007). ’Il Lavoro’: un giornale di fronda in tempo di regime'. I sentieri della ricerca 5: 229-256.

Vicari, S. (2006). 'Relazioni locali, nodi digitali e reti transnazionali di protesta'. Polis XX: 5-30. (English abstract).

Book chapters

Vicari, S. (2017). "Health, ICTs and the social" in Reilly, P.; Veneti, A. and Atanasova (eds). Politics, Protest, Emotion: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. A book of blogs. Sheffield: Information School, University of Sheffield, pp. 148-152

Vicari, S. (2015).'Networks of Contention: The Shape of Online Transnationalism in Early Twenty-First Century Social Movement Coalitions', pp. 92-109 in Social Networks and Social Movements: Contentious Connections, edited by Nick Crossley and John Krinsky. London: Routledge.

Vicari, S. (2012) 'Twitter and Public Reasoning Around Social Contention: The Case of #15ott in Italy', pp. 277-292 in From Social to Political. New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization, edited by Benjamin Tejerina and Ignacia Perugorria. Bilbao: Servicio Editorial de la Universidad del Pais Vasco.

Vicari, S. (2011) 'Investigating Facebook walls: A quantitative approach to online community building', pp. 146-156 in Qualitative research and young researchers, edited by Klaus Krippendorff and Gevisa La Rocca. Palermo: Social Books.

Cioni, E., Bonesu, R., Vicari, S. (2010) 'Quando la società locale va in Rete. Uno studio di caso', pp. 45-68 in Le reti della comunicazione politica. Tra televisioni e social network, edited by Elisabetta Cioni and Alberto Marinelli. Florence: FUP (joint author with Elisabetta Cioni and Rodolfo Bonesu).

Other publications

Vicari, S. (2014) "Sharing Our Lives Online: Risks and Exposure on Social Media" by David R. Brake. LSE Review of Books, 12 December 2014.

Vicari, S. (2014) “Transnationalizing the Public Sphere” by Nancy Fraser et al. LSE Review of Books, 13 August 2014.