Young Mie Kim
Department of Political Science
Science and Technology Studies
Elections Research Center, Department of Political Science
Center for Community and Nonprofits, School of Human Ecology
Young Mie Kim is a Professor of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a Faculty Affiliate of the Department of Political Science.
Kim’s research concerns media and politics in the digital age, specifically the role digital media play in political communication among political leaders, advocacy groups (non-party groups), and citizens.
Kim’s recent research project, Project DATA (Digital Ad Tracking & Analysis), empirically investigates the sponsors/sources, contents, and targets of digital political campaigns across multiple platforms with a human-based, real-time, longitudinal reverse engineering technique. The project uncovers “behind-the-scenes” operations of digital political campaigns, i.e., microtargeting practices (individual-level voter identification, targeting, and message placement and customization strategy).
During her faculty career, Kim’s research has developed a program of research on how the digital media environment contributes to the changing foundation of political communication. Her research theoretically explains and empirically demonstrates that the digital media environment has set a condition to facilitate the development of passionate publics who care about a particular issue almost exclusively based on their values, identities, and self-interests. Kim’s research illuminates the contemporary outlook of issue publics, issue advocacy groups, and political elites in the age of digital media.
Kim’s research has appeared in the flagship journals in the fields of Communication, as well as Political Science: Communication Research, the Journal of Communication, the Journal of Politics, among others. Kim’s research also has received prestigious awards and research grants in social science, including the Best Article of the Year Award (awarded for the best published article on political communication across the fields of Communication, Political Science, and Sociology); the Nafzinger-White Dissertation Award (awarded for the best dissertation in Mass Communication.
Kim has been teaching 15 different courses on a wide range of subjects including digital media, political communication, mass communication, and strategic communication. Integrating her research expertise and her passion for public service, Kim has developed a service learning course, Communication and Community Service: Technology for Social Change, where her students partner with a community organization and experiment with the democratic potentials of digital communication technologies. The class project, Savor South Madison, garnered a number of accolades including the Best Service Learning Practice, Innovator in Community-Campus Partnership.
Kim received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and was a Visiting Fellow of the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. She was the Microsoft Visiting Professor of the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University.