Dr Avelie Stuart
Research Fellow

Research

Research interests

My current research project is the EPSRC funded project STRETCH: Socio-Technical Resilience for Enhancing Targeted Community Healthcare (EP/P01013X/1), which aims to help coordinate the "circles of support" (from relatives and neighbours, to the voluntary sector, social workers, paid carers, and medical professionals) with both wearable and smart home technologies to enhance the social and technical resilience of these circles of support.

My previous project, Privacy Dynamics, was on privacy, social identities, and ubiquitous technology (such as smartphones and lifelogging devices).

I study questions such as:

  • How do technologically mediated social interactions (e.g. sharing information online) influence interpersonal and intergroup processes?
  • How do groups influence individual’s privacy/disclosure behaviours, and when do ingroup members take action to protect sensitive information about the group?
  • How do people respond to various surveillance technologies – in particular, how and why will people resist surveillance?

I also have ongoing work in discourse and communications, such as:

  • Examining the linguistic markers of social identity processes. Working with colleagues from Australia (Emma Thomas and Craig McGarty), and Bath (Laura Smith), we are identifying when people who are engaged in a social interaction have come to a point of consensus and formed a new social identity; and working with Miriam Koschate-Reis and Mark Levine (Exeter), we are developing a tool that can detect the linguistic profiles of different social groups, and identify if people have a particular social identity salient at the time of writing a piece of text.
  • The rhetorical use of notions of “choice”, “individuality”, and the “personal”, and how they can be invoked to separate oneself from an undesirable group association (such as an “extremist” political faction), or be used to justify unequal status relations. For example, I have worked with Ngaire Donaghue (Murdoch University) and Tim Kurz (University of Exeter) on how the idea of “women’s free choice” renders systematic prejudices towards women less visible.

And work on political mobilization for social change:

  • In one line of research I investigate the intragroup processes that cause people to stop engaging in political activism, including negative stereotypes of activists, conflict between personal autonomy and group membership, and interpersonal conflict
  • Determining predictors of positive attitudes towards stigmatised groups or outgroups, rather than what predicts prejudice. For example, in a study with Joel Anderson (Australian Catholic University) and Isabel Rossen (University of Western Australia) we are examining the role of social justice principles in predicting positive attitudes towards asylum seekers in Australia.
  • Investigating the motivations behind non-traditional forms of collective action (i.e. minority rights), such as community volunteering and advocacy.
  • With collaborators (Matteo Vergani, Craig McGarty, and others) we are investigating the role of terrorism threat in Euroscepticism and support for Eurosceptic parties.

Grants/Funding:

2013 Society for Australasian Social Psychology small grant scheme, with collaborators Joel Anderson (ACU), Anna Cooke (UQ), and Isabel Rossen (UWA), $500.

2013 Society for Australasian Social Psychology travel grant, $500.

2010-2013 Murdoch University Research Scholarship, AU$23,000 p.a.

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