Elisha Lim

2023, Ph.D., Media, Technology, and Culture. The University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
2016, M.F.A., Criticism and Curatorial Practice, Ontario College of Art & Design University, Toronto, ON, Canada
2003, M.A., English Literature. The University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
2001, B.A. Hons, English Literature and Sociology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Thesis Title:
Piety: Why Meta’s Business Model Drives Intolerance

Thesis Research Advisor:
Prof. T.L. Cowan

Postdoc Research Topic:
The past decade has seen an increase in cases of ethnic fraud, polarizing populism, and corporate solidarity statements critiqued for capitalizing on social issues. While many critics blame these social phenomena on opportunistic individuals and businesses, I study the role played by social media platforms: their business models, advertising datasets and ranking algorithms. My research builds on The Black Radical Tradition and anti-colonial critique to investigate the following questions: 1) How do targeting tools shape behavior? 2) What are the motivations that compel modern shifts in identity politics? 3) Why have “morals” become so important to business? and 4) How can the framework of “piety” offer new theories and solutions for negative social media dynamics?

Penn Department:
School of Social Policy and Practice

Penn Mentor:
Desmond Upton Patton, PhD, MSW


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