S. Craig Watkins
Associate Faculty — Ph.D., 1994, Sociology, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Professor in the Department of Radio Television Film, Moody College of Communication
S. Craig Watkins has been researching young people's media behaviors for more than ten years. He teaches in the departments of Radio-Television-Film and Sociology and the Center for African and African American Studies.
His new book, The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future (Beacon 2009), is based on survey research, in-depth interviews, and fieldwork with teens, young twenty-somethings, teachers, parents, and technology advocates. The Young and the Digital explores young people's dynamic engagement with social media, online games, mobile phones, and communities like Facebook and MySpace.
Watkins was selected to join the MacArthur Foundation Series on Youth, Digital Media and Learning a collection of scholars, visionaries, thought leaders, and practitioners from across the world to explore the intersection of digital media, everyday life, and learning. His work on this groundbreaking project focuses on race, learning, and the growing culture of gaming.
His previous books include Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement (Beacon Press 2005), and Representing: Hip Hop Culture and the Production of Black Cinema (The University of Chicago Press 1998).
Watkins also works as a consultant and thought leader for research and educational organizations, publishers, and communication companies interested in gaining greater insight into the lively worlds young people create, both online and offline. Some of his recent work in this area has been with the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, Kaiser Permanente, Nokia, KLRU-TV (PBS, Austin), and a publisher of books for young readers.
His scholarly research and expertise has been recognized in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Time, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Black Issues in Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Publisher's Weekly, Vibe, The Village Voice, URB, The Source Magazine, and broadcast outlets like National Public Radio, The Tavis Smiley Show, ABC World News Tonight, MTV.com, FOX.com, ESPN, and the Radio Netherlands/Amsterdam Forum.
Currently, Watkins is launching a new digital media research initiative that focuses on the use and evolution of social media platforms. For updates on these and other projects visit theyoungandthedigital.com.
S. Craig Watkins has been invited to be a Research Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford).
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