Over the past two and a half decades, Dr Campbell has been a pioneer in the study of religion and the Internet, focused on how and why Jewish, Muslim and Christian groups use certain “new” technologies and their decision-making processes surrounding those choices. She has studied questions related to the nature of community, identity, authority and authenticity online through ethnography, case studies, interviews and textual analysis.
Beginning in the 1990s her research started with the exploration of how individuals used email to form Christian communities online. Dr Campbell has gone on to study the rise of the kosher cell phone in Israel, the performance of alternative religious identities through Islamogaming, how religious apps enable individuals to create new rhythms of spiritual practice and how digital culture is changing popular notions of religion. Her current research focuses on challenges that digital media pose to traditional religious authority online and how Internet memes communicate popular assumptions about religion.
Major research papers found at: Researchgate.net | Academia.edu
Religious Digital Creatives and the Question of Authority in a Digital Age
This study documents the work and motivations of 150 religious digital creatives working in the USA and Europe. These individuals include web designers, app developers, social media influencers and online evangelists focused on creating innovative technologies and content to spread religious practice online and offline. Digital creatives, individuals employed in tech related fields or perform digital work for religious institutions, represent both a new category of religious influencer, which can challenges established religious groups. The aim of this project is to explore the interesting and complex issues surrounding the performance, presentation, and negotiation of religious authority in an age dependent on mediate and digital media.
When Internet Memes are Mean: Stereotyping the Religious Other in a Digital Age
This research investigates how popular Internet memes, digital images mixed with humorous sayings, promote stereotypes about religious group influencing perceptions of religious minorities in America. This extends her previous research on religious Internet memes, to consider the broader impact such online discussions have on public understandings of religion. The aim o is to not only identify problematic messages communicated by memes, but create a framework for identifying, evaluating and re-framing digital discourses on religious diversity memes communicate.
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