2017 Guest Scholar Eric Karikari


Ph.D. Candidate
University of New Mexico – Albuquerque

Eric Karikari is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Communication and Journalism Department of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He has a Master’s degree in Communication Studies from the Minnesota State University, where he was awarded the university’s Midwest Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Distinguished Masters’ Thesis Award. Over the last 5 years, Eric has presented his work at several national and regional conferences, such as the National Communication Association, the Central States Communication Association, and the Western States Communication Association.

At the University of New Mexico, Eric is also a graduate teaching assistant who has taught courses such as public speaking, organizational communication, professional communication, intercultural communication, and communication research methods. His approach to media and communications policy is founded on the assumption that communication constitutes a central avenue for pursuing positive social change. At the intersection of organizational communication, intercultural communication, and media studies, he is particularly interested in the cultural assumptions that influence media and communications policy, and their implications for positive social change.

Eric’s dissertation project is focused on analyzing the role of neoliberalism in the creation and consolidation of media and communications policies. In this project, he analyzes how neoliberalism simultaneously inhibits and enables certain forms of cultural expression, particularly among socially and economically marginalized populations.

His other interests in media studies extend to the socially reproductive and transformative power of social media. This is evidenced in a 2016 journal publication he co-authored with his dissertation advisor, Dr. Marco Briziarelli, titled Mediating Social Media’s Ambivalences in the Context of Informational Capitalism. He is also currently working on other new media policy projects, the most current of which is titled, Organizing Patriotism: The Role of Social Media in Safeguarding Multi-Party Democracy. In this study, he argues that it is as important to have a media landscape that enables social media to be used as a tool of resistance and transformation as it is for young people to be interested in organizing for democratic change.