Robert Gauthier gives a GRADTalk on Social Networks

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

GI resident Robert Gauthier will be giving a GRADtalk about social networks on September 27 in Needles Hall. Robert is a PhD candidate for Public Health and Health Systems. His research contributes to the fields of HCI and public health because he investigates how online communities support sensitive issues such as addiction

For this upcoming GRADtalk, Robert will be sharing his research on how Reddit is used as a platform for online communities to provide support for recovery from addiction. There are well known social programs in place to support individuals suffering from addiction, such as needle exchanges and 12-step programs, and yet these online communities have formed on Reddit with rules and structures in place separate from the gaze of medical professionals.

Robert has been studying these communities in order to get a better understanding of how and why they work. In this talk he will be presenting the results of a thematic analysis he conducted on two subreddits. Using that thematic analysis, Robert is exploring the context of pseudonymity (protecting identities without complete anonymity) to theorize about why Reddit is a valuable tool for addiction recovery.

Just a little teaser…

One of Robert's findings is that these online communities are used to support individuals who are struggling with the 12-step program. This suggests that these communities might not be replacing publicly funded programs, but are in addition to traditional methods.


Attend the talk to learn more! Click here for more details about the event.

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