PhD Candidate Understanding Social Media Bubbles for a Sustainable Future

Updated: 28 days ago
Deadline: 25 May 2021

Are you exceptionally interested in persuasive communication, social media communities, sustainability, and empowerment? Is it your ambition to become a top-tier researcher?

We are looking for a PhD candidate for the project ‘Changing the public debate for the greener; How social media bubbles can be identified, understood, and put to use to stimulate environmental sustainability’. The PhD track is part of the Persuasive Communication programme group.

Social media technology is increasingly used to stimulate awareness of environmental problems like climate change and to promote pro-environmental behaviors. At the same time, however, social media are used to raise doubts on the existence, causes of and potential solutions to environmental problems. Although there is scientific and societal interest in social media usage in general and (filter) bubbles specifically, there is not much knowledge concerning these issues in the environmental context. This 3-year PhD project aims to identify social media communities related to sustainability (‘green bubbles’) in terms of content and audience, to 1.) study motivations for online green behaviors within the different bubbles; to 2.)identify how this relates to people’s offline green behaviors; and to 3.) test how social media can be used as a persuasive tool to ‘green the different bubbles’ and investigate how the effectiveness of these persuasive strategies is related to characteristics of the community and the network. With the results of different subprojects, this project will provide new, much-needed information on the existence and the characteristics of ‘green bubbles’, the relation between online and offline green behavior, and on how social media can be used to green people’s behavior for a more sustainable future.

What are you going to do

You will

  • conduct research as outlined above, adopting mixed-methods including (automated) content analysis, network analysis, experimentation, and survey research;
  • writing up findings for publications in academic publications in leading international journals and accumulating in a PhD thesis;
  • present your work at (inter)national conferences;
  • contribute to the vibrant academic life in Amsterdam by attending workshops, meetings, and lectures;
  • engage in valorisation activities;
  • spend 10% of your time on teaching-related tasks.

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