Postdoc Research: Conspiracy Theories and Online Communities

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Belgium

August 1, 2021

Description

Postdoc Research: Conspiracy Theories and Online Communities

(ref. BAP-2021-583)

Last modification : Friday, July 9, 2021

The postdoc research (2 years) is part of a larger research project ‘Everything is Connected: Conspiracy Theories in the Age of the Internet' that is funded by the AHRC and will be executed in coalition with the University of Manchester (Prof. Peter Knight), King's College London (Dr. Clare Birchall) and University of Amsterdam (Dr. Marc Tuters). The postdoc candidate is situated at KU Leuven, Department of Communication Science, Institute for Media Studies and will be supervised by Prof. Stef Aupers. IMS is an internationally oriënted research unit studying the production, effects and meanings of (digital) media and communication. The research group produces innovative and critical scientific research with a particular focus on media culture and policy; journalism and news; strategy and marketing; human-computer-interaction. The IMS employs its research expertise to provide quality education, to participate in academic and social debate, and to inspire (inter)national policy.

Website unit

Project

In the broader context of the AHRC-funded research project ‘Everything is Connected: Conspiracy Theories in the Age of the Internet', this sub-project studies community formation on the internet around conspiracy theories. Based on empirical, qualitative research (e.g., in-depth interviews, content- analysis, digital ethnography), the research focuses particularly on the ways individual participants share conspiracy theories, debate and socialize and if, how and why particular conspiracy beliefs are reinforced in such online groups. The approach is distinctly comparative: the emphasis lies on establishing commonalities and differences within and between (strategically selected) online conspiracy groups.

Profile

The candidate:

Should have obtained a PhD (max 3 years ago) in the social sciences or humanities (sociology and / or communication science / media studies)

Is interested in empirical research in relation to (the development of) theory in media studies / social sciences / humanities

Has ample experience with empirical research on digital / internet culture and / or conspiracy theories (e.g., publication, topic PhD-thesis)

Has ample experience with qualitative research (particularly content analysis, in-depth interviews, ethnography) and (preferably also) digital methods

Has published widely in international, peer-reviewed journals

Has excellent skills in English (mastering the Dutch language is an extra asset)

Has excellent organizational, managing and digital skills

Offer

An initial part-time 1-year contract of a post-doctoral research position that, based on a positive evaluation, will be prolonged with 1 years (= 2 years in total) and starts on 1 November 2021. Salary and benefits are in line with the university salary scales for post-doctoral staff. https: // www. kuleuven.be/personeel/jobsite/werken-bij-kuleuven/werken-bij- kuleuven.

Interested?

Interestedcandidates are invited to submit the following documents before 1 August 2021in order to apply for this position:

CV (including an overviewof academic publications)

Amotivation letter explaining interest in pursuing an academic career in generaland this particular research project in particular

Based on afirst selection, potential candidates will be invited for an (online) interviewin the second half of August.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Stef Aupers, tel.: +32 16 37 23 07, mail: stef.aupers@kuleuven.be.

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

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