Sarah Sobieraj


Contact Info:
Tufts University
Department of Sociology
Eaton Hall
Medford, MA 02155

Office: 617.627.2472
Fax: 617.627.3097
Email Professor

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Ph.D. SUNY Albany, M.A. American University

Media, Political Culture, Extreme Incivility, Identity-Based Attacks Online, Public Discourse, Gender, Social Movements

Biography and Interests
Sarah Sobieraj is an award-winning teacher and researcher with expertise in US political culture, extreme incivility, digital abuse and harassment, and the mediated information environment. Her most recent book, Credible Threat: Attacks Against Women Online and the Future of Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2020), examines the impact of identity-based digital abuse on women’s participation in social and political discourse. She is also the author of The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New Incivility (Oxford University Press, 2014) with Jeff Berry, and Soundbitten: The Perils of Media-Centered Political Activism (NYU Press, 2011). Professor Sobieraj edited (with Rob Boatright, Danna Young, and Tim Schaffer) A Crisis of Civility?: Political Discourse and Its Discontents (Routledge, 2019). Additionally, she is currently co-editing the Oxford Handbook on Sociology and Digital Media with Deana Rohlinger, which is due out in 2021. Professor Sobieraj’s most recent journal articles can be found in Information, Communication & Society, Social Problems, PS: Political Science & Politics, Poetics, Political Communication, and Sociological Theory. Her work has also been featured in venues such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Politico, Vox, CNN, PBS, NPR, the American Prospect, National Review, the Atlantic, Pacific Standard, and Salon. Sobieraj serves on the advisory board of the Social Science Research Council’s Disinformation Research Mapping Initiative, is a member of the National Institute for Civil Discourse Research Network, and is a faculty associate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. In her free time, Professor Sobieraj enjoys listening to storytelling podcasts, talking politics, hiking, playing cards, and indulging in a good binge-watch.

Scholarship and Research

Sobieraj, Sarah. (2020) Credible Threat: Attacks Against Women Online and the Future of Democracy. New York: Oxford University Press

Boatright, Robert, Tim Shaffer, Sarah Sobieraj, and Dannagal Goldwaite Young (Eds). (2019). A Crisis of Civility: Political Discourse and its Discontents. New York: Routledge.

Berry, Jeffrey and Sarah Sobieraj. (2014) The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New Incivility. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sobieraj, Sarah. (2011). Soundbitten: The Perils of Media-Centered Political Activism. New York: New York University Press.

Selected Articles
Sobieraj, Sarah, Gina M. Masullo, Philip N. Cohen, Tarleton Gillespie, and Sarah J. Jackson. (forthcoming). "Politicians, Social Media, and Digital Publics: Old Rights, New Terrain." American Behavioral Scientist.

Sobieraj, Sarah and Shaan Merchant. (forthcoming). "Gender and Race in the Digital Town Hall: Identity-Based Attacks Against US Legislators on Twitter." In David Herbert, Stefan Fisher-Høyrem, John Boy, Justus Uitermark, eds. Social Media and Social Order. de Gruyter.

Sobieraj, Sarah. (2019). "Audiences in Social Context: Bridging the Divides Between Political Communications and Social Movements Scholarship." Information, Communication, & Society.

Sobieraj, Sarah. (2017). "Bitch, Slut, Skank, Cunt: Patterned Resistance to Women's Visibility in Digital Publics." Information, Communication, & Society.

Sobieraj, Sarah, Jeffery M. Berry, and Amy Connors. (2013). "Outrageous Opinion Media and Political Anxiety in the U.S." Poetics. 41 5: 407-432.

Sobieraj, Sarah and Jeffrey Berry. (2011). "From Incivility to Outrage: Political Discourse in Blogs, Talk Radio, and Cable News." Political Communication 28 1:19-41

Berry, Jeffrey M. and Sarah Sobieraj. (2011). "Understanding the Rise of Talk Radio." PS: Political Science & Politics 44 4: 762-767.

Sobieraj, Sarah. (2010). "Reporting Conventions: Journalists, Activists, and the Thorny Struggle for Political Visibility." Social Problems, 57, 4: 505-528.

Sobieraj, Sarah and Deborah White. (2007). "Could Civic Engagement Reproduce Political Inequality?" In Susan Ostrander and Kent Portney, (eds.), Acting Civically (pp. 92-110). Hanover: New England University Press.

Jacobs, Ronald and Sarah Sobieraj. (2007), "Narrative, Public Policy, and Political Legitimacy: Congressional Debates about the Nonprofit Sector, 1894-1969." Sociological Theory 25 1: 1-25.

Sobieraj, Sarah. (2006). "The Implications of Transitions in the Voluntary Sector for Civic Engagement: A Case Study of Association Mobilization around the 2000 Presidential Campaign." Sociological Inquiry 76 1: 52-80.

Sobieraj, Sarah and Deborah White. (2004). "Taxing Political Life: Reevaluating the Relationship Between Voluntary Association Membership, Political Engagement, and the State." The Sociological Quarterly 45 4: 739-764.

Moore, Gwen, Sarah Sobieraj, J. Allen Whitt, Olga Mayorova, and Daniel Beaulieu. (2002). "Elite Interlocks in Three U.S. Sectors: Nonprofit, Corporate, and Government." Social Science Quarterly 83 3: 726-744.

Other Links
Project for Excellence in Journalism
Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society@Harvard
Mediawell: Live Research from the Digital Edges of Democracy
The Speech Project (Women's Media Center)
Neiman Lab
Media Justice
New York Times Media Section
Annenberg Political Fact Check
On the Media
Sociological Images