Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Atri Mukherjee


Personal Description

Atri Mukherjee is a PhD Researcher (Doctoral Fellow) in the NUSE (News: Users, Strategies, and Engagements) Unit of imec-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His PhD research is embedded within the ERC-StG project ‘INEQNEWS’ headed by Prof. Dr. Antonis Kalogeropoulos, which investigates various social inequalities turned digital inequalities in the political news consumption patterns across four comparative media markets in Brazil, Chile (Global South), Spain and the United Kingdom (Global North).

Attaching a media sociology perspective to the political economy of media, Atri investigates the role of social class and cultural capital as a mediator of political news consumption patterns across these four sociodemographics, and how people employ various dispositional attributes to being an “informed, politically active citizen” as a tool for class distinction and exclusionary boundary-setting between and within groups. Here, he tries to document the behaviors that underline the social and cultural designations of ‘legitimate’ news sources and news topics by focusing on the ways objectified cultural capital manifests itself as civic duty norms, which he hypothesizes may be unequally distributed and utilized in political news-seeking patterns. Adjacently, he is interested in the linkage between such political news-seeking patterns and overall political knowledge acquisition. His methodological focus is quantitative and computational.  

On a broader level, Atri is interested in observing whether social inequalities — mainly social class — further exacerbates digital inequalities beyond access-related hurdles i.e., ones related to social sense-making, benefits of digital media use, and political socialization. Additionally, he is interested in the sociological development of political language, and its discursive affects across (or interestingly even, sans) contexts. In his side projects, Atri is keen to theorize how political communication patterns from the West impacts the non-West, and who it impacts to what levels & outcomes. 

Atri holds an MSc in Communication Sciences (cum laude) from KU Leuven, and a triple major (B.A) in Journalism, Psychology, and English Literature. Currently, he is affiliated to the SCOM (Department of Communication Sciences) at the VUB.