Jen Schradie is a sociologist and Assistant Professor at the Observatoire sociologique du changement at Sciences Po in Paris. Her work has been featured on CNN, the BBC and in the New Yorker, the Washington Post, Time, the Daily Beast, and Buzzfeed, among other media. She was awarded the Public Sociology Alumni Prize at University of California, Berkeley, and has directed six documentary films.
After a career as a documentary filmmaker, Schradie received a master’s degree from the Harvard Kennedy School and her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in Sociology and New Media. Her research challenges both digital democracy utopia or internet villain dystopia. Instead, she finds societal structures of class inequality, bureaucratic institutions, and political ideology can all drive internet use.
Her research areas span the digital divide, digital activism, and digital labor. Her current comparative project focuses on gender and class differences in the start-up economy in France and the U.S., and another examines online hate speech. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods with online and offline data, she contextualizes disparities and variation of participation in digital society.
Schradie has a new book with Harvard University Press, The Revolution That Wasn’t: How Digital Activism Favors Conservatives. While hashtag activism captures headlines, conservative digital activism, especially with right-wing populist groups, is proving more effective on the ground. In this counterintuitive study, Schradie shows how the internet has become another weapon in the arsenal of the powerful, particularly conservatives. She has published peer-reviewed research in top sociology and communication journals, such as Social Problems, Poetics, and the International Journal of Communication.
Schradie is not only a recovering filmmaker but also an occasional yoga teacher and a beginning banjo hack.