Shelley Boulianne

Associate Professor, Sociology

PhD (Wisconsin-Madison), MA (Alberta), BA (Alberta)

6-394, City Centre Campus
10700 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB


Dr. Shelley Boulianne pursues several streams of research related to engagement in civic and political life. First, she studies the impact of digital media on democratic practices. She has published two meta-analysis pieces on this topic, a literature synthesis and two studies using longitudinal data and experiments to examine the effects of news media on political interest, political talk, signing petitions, boycotting, and voting. A second stream of research involves studying citizens' engagement in deliberative events. This research explores who participates in these types of events and how participation in these events affects citizens' sense of political trust, political efficacy, policy preferences, civic skills, and future engagement in civic and political life. A final stream of research examines generational shifts in community attachment and social capital and its impact on patterns of civic and political engagement. 

Dr. Boulianne is also interested in understanding why people participate in public opinion surveys and how this participation can be increased. She has studied the effects of incentives, sponsorship, and reminders in increasing response rates to web surveys. This research has been published in several peer-reviewed articles.

Available to supervise senior students' independent study.

Survey methodology, mass communication (Internet; social media), political sociology (political communication; political behaviour; civic engagement), youth, gender, climate change

Teaching and Research Interests

  • Social Survey Methods
  • Politics and Social Change
  • Introduction to Social Statistics (now SOCI 310)
  • Introduction to Social Research Methods
  • Introduction to Sociology

Selected Publications / Presentations / Conference Papers

Boulianne, S. (2019). Revolution in the making? Social media effects across the globe. Information Communication & Society, 22(1), 39-54. doi: 10.1080/1369118x.2017.1353641

Boulianne, S. (2018). Twenty years of digital media effects on civic and political participation. Communication Research, Online First, 1-27. doi: 10.1177/0093650218808186

Boulianne, S. & Theocharis, Y. (2018). Young people, digital media and engagement: A meta-analysis of research. Social Science Computer Review, Online First, 1-17. doi: 10.1177/0894439318814190

Boulianne, S., Minaker, J. & Haney, T. (2018). Does compassion go viral? Social media, caring, and the Fort McMurray wildfire. Information, Communication & Society, 21(5), 697-711. DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2018.1428651

Boulianne, S. (2018). Mini-publics and public opinion: Two survey-based experiments. Political Studies, 66(1), 119-136. DOI: 10.1177/0032321717723507

Awards / Grants / Fellowships

  • American Political Science Assocition, Information Technology and Politics section, Best Paper Award (2018)
  • American Sociological Association, Communication and Information Technology Section, Best Paper Award (2013)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Alberta Climate Dialogue, Collaborator (2010-2015)