Dr. Shugars’ research in computational communication and political communication examines how the platforms, data, and methods of our modern computational world have fundamentally reshaped the ways in which citizens engage with their societies as well as the ways in which researchers can study this political behavior. Their work extends along three interconnected themes: digital discourse, collaborative reasoning, and methodological validity.
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Individuals increasingly acquire political information from social media, frequently through interpersonal, peer-to-peer conversation. Furthermore, these platforms have fundamentally shifted the speed, modality, and nature of “everyday“ political talk, creating a deep need for both theory-building and computational examination of these platforms and their role in political life. This strand of research therefore aims to better understand how digital tools are used in modern discourse and to build new theory around the unique affordances of these platforms.
Select Publications and Working Papers
The speech we miss: How keyword-based data collection obscures youth participation in online political discourse
Adina Gitomer, Sarah Shugars, Ryan J. Gallagher, Stefan McCabe, Brooke Foucault Welles.
Computational Communication Research, 5(1). 2023.
Beyond Digital “Echo Chambers”: The Role of Viewpoint Diversity in Political Discussion
Rishav Hada, Amir Ebrahimi Fard, Sarah Shugars, Federico Bianchi, Patricia Rossini, Dirk Hovy, Rebekah Tromble, Nava Tintarev.
Proceedings of the Sixteenth ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM). 2023.
Pandemics, Protests, and Publics: Demographic Activity and Engagement on Twitter in 2020
Sarah Shugars, Adina Gitomer, Stefan McCabe, Ryan J. Gallagher, Kenneth Joseph, Nir Grinberg, Larissa Doroshenko, Brooke Foucault Welles, and David Lazer. Journal of Quantitative Description: Digital Media, 1. 2021.
Sustained Amplification of COVID-19 Elites in the United States
Ryan J. Gallagher, Larissa Doroshenko, Sarah Shugars, David Lazer, and Brooke Foucault Welles.
Social Media + Society, 2021.
Why Keep Arguing? Predicting Participation in Political Conversations Online
Sarah Shugars and Nick Beauchamp
SAGE Open: Social Media and Political Participation Global Issue, March 2019
Microblog Conversation Recommendation via Joint Modeling of Topics and Discourse
Xingshan Zeng, Jing Li, Lu Wang, Nick Beauchamp, Sarah Shugars, and Kam-Fai Wong
Proceedings of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL), June 2018