Abe Gong

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Abe Gong, 2011

Doctoral Student
American Politics

  • Fields of Study
    • American Politics (political communication, participation, public opinion), Methods
  • About

    Abe Gong studies social systems using a mix of computational and traditional methods.  His dissertation taps one of the richest sources of political data in all history - the political blogosphere - in order to better understand political communication.  Unlike most forms of communication, blogging leaves a permanent data trail.  Archives of thousands of political blogs exist online, complete with text, dates, links, and comments.  This project taps this wealth of social data using a combination of techniques from social and computer science: survey research, content analysis, web crawling, and automated text classification.  Together, these tools enable Abe to better explain the blogosphere, and political participation.  

    Abe finds that classic theories of political participation predict bloggers' behavior remarkably well - political blogging is a form of activism.  Conversely, Abe is able to break new theoretical ground by studying tone of discourse, topics, and timing of participation in the political blogosphere.  Difficult to observe in other contexts, these aspects of blogging shed light on timeless elements of human interaction: attention, opinion, disagreement, persuasion, and participation.   

  • Grants
    • 2011 - 2012 Institute for Social Research Fellowship for Innovation in Social Research
    • 2010 - 2011 Ford Fellowship Research Award
    • Summer 2010 Summer Collaborative Research Grant
  • Presentations
    • “How does the political blogosphere represent—or distort—the voice of the electorate?” Accepted at APSA 2011
    • “An automated snowball census of the political web.” Accepted at JITP 2011
    • “Why do bloggers shout? Predicting civility in political blog posts.” Poster accepted at JITP 2011
  • Dissertation Title
    • What the Theories of Political Participation Can Teach Us About the Blogosphere, and Vice Versa
  • Dissertation Chair
    • Nancy Burns
  • Dissertation Committee
    • Nancy Burns, Elisabeth Gerber, Scott Page, Walter Mebane, Nicholas Valentino