2010 Dissertations I: Blogging

Blog posts offer an interesting new source of text for communication scholars.  They are our modern day equivalent of the soapbox, without needing a public square — and sometimes in contexts where a physical site for open discourse is an impossibility. Online, they sit side-by-side with traditional media, easily consulted and possibly just as likely to influence opinion.

Two communication dissertations examine the influence of blogs on political discourse.  Daniel Munksgaard (University of Iowa) argues that blogs show us “backstage” discourse  — what people really think when social roles and norms hold less sway.  He analyzes three blogging sites and shows “a steady integration of anti-Islamic perspectives within the American Left.”   Sharon Shaojung Wang (SUNY at Buffalo) argues that the openness of blogging is important in post-socialist China. She examines how this type of internet discourse might support a “networked public sphere and nascent civil society.”

Each dissertation is available from UMI.

  • Munksgaard, Daniel Carl. “Warblog without end: online anti-Islamic discourses as persuadables.” PhD diss., University of Iowa, 2010.  http://ir.uiowa.edu/etd/715/
  • Wang, Sharon Shaojung. “The Internet battle between the authorities and the public: The power and the limits of social control and informational capitalism in China’s blogosphere.” PhD diss., State University of New York at Buffalo, 2010. http://gradworks.umi.com/34/23/3423543.html