To understand the role of technology in our society, we must prioritize questions of power and institutions and consider how social differences—including race and ethnicity, class, gender, and sexual identity—shape unequal information systems.
The Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) creates essential research across multiple fields and methods that’s grounded in a shared commitment to equality and justice.
We’re dedicated to understanding the growing impact of the internet, social media, and other forms of digital information sharing in the context of the people who design, use, and govern them. CITAP explores technology as it’s embedded in societies structured by economics, race, politics, culture, and more.
We recognize that effective analysis of technology platforms and information systems requires
- A holistic approach grounded in history, society, culture, and politics
- Analyzing how social differences—including race and ethnicity, gender, class, and sexual identity—shape unequal information ecosystem dynamics
- Prioritizing questions of power, institutions, and economic, social, cultural, and technological structures
- Making clear foundational commitments to equality and justice
Common themes found in our work include:
- Political processes: Technological tools increasingly interact with our political systems and changes how society thinks about politics.
- Democracy and equality: The rise of digital communication simultaneously poses threats and offers promise to democracies worldwide.
- Mis- and disinformation: False and low-quality information sources generate revenue and power for their creators while undermining public trust.
- Platforms, networks, and infrastructure: There is a growing awareness of the relationship between communication technologies and the power dynamics that shape society.