No photo of Chamil Rathnayake
  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

Willing to speak to media

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

My teaching and research take an interdisciplinary approach to understand new media platforms. My current research pays special attention to 'mediated publicness' enabled by social media affordances. One of my recent papers suggested that new media affordances allow novel socialities, such as instances of 'momentary connectedness', that function as extended domains of connectivity. Currently, I examine the co-existence of transactive and non-transactive utterances in issue-response networks. 

I am a computational social science enthusiast, and my work applies methods in Social Network Analysis(SNA) and Natural Language Processing, such as centrality analysis, community detection, text mining, clustering, and topic model analysis. I completed my doctoral studies at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, focusing on social informatics, communication theory, and communication policy and planning. My PhD dissertation built on previous work by developing an affordance-driven multi-item scale to measure social media uses and gratification and testing it across political actor categories. 

I welcome PhD students who would like to conduct their doctoral research within the broad field of social media studies. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, online political engagement, political dissidence and activism on social network sites, mediated publics, online communities, online social photography, fake news and satirical disinformation , and cross-ideology exposure and echo chambers. In particular, I encourage PhD proposals that use quantitative analysis techniques, such as structural equation models, social network analysis, and applications of text mining and analysis. Coming from an interdisciplinary background, I welcome applicants who are interested in applying concepts and methods in different fields of study, such as communication, computer science, politics, and sociology.  

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Research Output 2017 2018

#BlackLivesMatter and #AliveWhileBlack: A study of topical orientation of hashtags and message content

Rathnayake, C., Winter, J. & Buente, W., 28 May 2018. 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Open Access
Social Movements
Racial Discrimination
social media
Factor analysis
factor analysis