Undergraduate Institution: Bar Ilan University (Israel)
Undergraduate Major: Comparative literature and Media Studies
Pre-MAPSS Graduate Studies: MA in Political Science (Bar Ilan University, Israel)
MAPSS Graduation Year: 2014
I came to MAPSS, after working ten years in journalism, with a clear intention to get admitted to a leading PhD program in the U.S. My interests were (and still are) with the way new digital media influences people’s political identity, and specifically with its potential to push people to adopt cosmopolitan values and worldviews. As I explored this issue deeper during my MAPSS year I found myself drifting somewhat away from the Political Science aspect of these questions, and more towards their Sociological one. Two of the classes that helped me most in focusing my ideas were Terry Clark’s Global-Local Politics and Karin Knorr Cetina’s Global Society and Global Culture. Cathy Cohen’s seminar on Political Participation and New Media was also most enlightening and offered a fascinating discussion of current trends in relevant research. My thesis, under the guidance of Prof. Knorr Cetina, focused on the global orientation of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Using ethnography, I looked into the discourse of a prominent Facebook group that was associated with the movement, and explored the process through which activists had adopted global, and indeed cosmopolitan, political identifications. I am currently about to begin my PhD studies in University of Southern California’s Sociology department, where I was offered the very generous Provost Fellowship. My MAPSS year helped me not only to focus my ideas and research interests, but also to acquire some valuable methodological skills for the craft of research itself, skills that are bound to be valuable during my coming PhD studies.