Core Department Faculty Member

  • Portrait
  • Thomas Davidson
  • Assistant Professor
  • PhD. Cornell University, 2020
  • Email: thomas.davidson@rutgers.edu>
  • Office: Davison Hall
  • Website Link
  • Twitter: @thomasrdavidson
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Thomas Davidson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Rutgers University. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Cornell University in 2020. His research interests include political sociology, social movements, and the sociology of culture. Much of his research uses digital trace data from social media and other websites in combination with statistical analysis and computational methods including natural language processing and machine-learning.

    He is currently working on several projects related to political discussion on social media. In one of these projects he uses novel data on the Facebook pages of political parties across Europe to study the relationship between social media and electoral outcomes, in particular the extent to which radical right populists disproportionately benefit from these platforms. In addition to his work in political sociology, he is interested in using digital trace data to study online communities and careers in creative industries. In a current project he is examining the multiplex relations between musicians and what they reveal about the evolution of musical genres.

  • In the Public Eye:
    • Published op-eds in The Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog on the relationship between social media activity and far-right support in Germany and Italy.
    • Interviewed by The New Scientist and Vox about his research on automated hate speech detection.
  • Faculty Article(s): Black Box Models and Sociological Explanations: Predicting High School GPA Using Neural Networks
    Britain First and the UK Independence Party: Social Media and Movement-Party Dynamics
  • Program Areas:
  • Culture and Cognition
  • Organizations, Networks, and Work
  • Politics and Social Movements