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 honours or individual study students.

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. (2016). Campaigns and conflict on social media: A literature snapshot. Online Information Review, 40(5), 1-25. doi: 10.1108/OIR-03-2016-0086

Boulianne, S. (2016). Online news, civic awareness, and engagement in civic and political life. New Media & Society, 18(9), 1840-1856. doi: 10.1177/1461444815616222

Boulianne, S. (2015). Social media use and participation: A meta-analysis of current research. Information, Communication, and Society, 18(5), 524-538. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2015.1008542

Boulianne, S. (2015). Generating political interest with online news, in L. Robinson, S. R. Cotten, J. Schulz (Eds.) Communication and Information Technologies Annual (Studies in Media and Communications, Volume 9) (pp. 53-76) Emerald Group Publishing Limited. doi: 10.1108/S2050-206020150000009003

Boulianne, S. & Brailey, M. (2014). Attachment to community and civic and political engagement: A case study of students. Canadian Review of Sociology, 51(4), 375-388. doi: 10.1111/cars.12052

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)

Professional Associations / Memberships

  • Member of American Sociological Association
  • Member of American Association of Public Opinion Research
  • Member of American Political Science Association
  • Member of Canadian Political Science Association
  • Member of Canadian Sociological Association

Boards / Committees

  • Member of the 2014 Best Paper Award Adjudication Committee, American Sociological Association, section on Communication and Information Technology
  • Member of the 2015 Public Sociology Award Adjudication Committee, American Sociological Association, section on Communication and Information Technology
  • Member of 2016 Best Paper award committee, Political Communication section of the American Political Science Association