Professor Orgad is currently completing a book entitled ‘The Confidence Culture’ (with Professor Rosalind Gill), which is due for publication by Duke University Press in 2020. The book examines the extraordinary rise of female self-esteem in current culture in and across media, forms, and discourses.
Professor Orgad's recent research examines public discourses about gender equality in the workplace and media representations of women and work. Professor Orgad has recently completed a study that examines the experiences of women who left paid employment in the context of becoming mothers, and juxtaposes their experiences against the way they are represented in the media and public discourse. The study, which involved interviews with women who left paid employment and their partners, and analysis of media and policy representations gender, work and family, is published in the book Heading Home: Motherhood, Work and the Failed Promise of Equality (2019, Columbia University Press). Read reviews of the book in the Financial Times, Times Literary Supplement, and LSE Review of Books.
Professor Orgad's other research interest concerns the significance of media representations for people's understanding of themselves, of one another, and the world. She is particularly interested in how new media enable people to present and understand themselves and how their personal narratives and representations interact, reflect and challenge larger public narratives and images. These issues are explored in her book Media Representation and the Global Imagination (2012, Polity). The book examines how transformations in the contemporary media landscape, specifically the expansion of new media, the increasing global scope of communication, and the blurring between public and private realms, change and shape the ways in which issues of public concern are framed, imaged, and constructed, and what consequences this may have.
Professor Orgad's other interests include representations of suffering, new media, the Internet and computer-mediated communication, narrative and media, media and everyday life, media and globalisation, and ethnographic research methods.
Professor Orgad completed (with Professor Bruna Seu, Birkbeck College) the research project 'Mediated Humanitarian Knowledge: Audiences' Reactions and Moral Actions', funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The project explored public understanding and reactions to humanitarian communications, including campaigns about international development issues and humanitarian appeals. Professor Orgad and Professor Seu conducted focus groups across the UK to learn how people make sense of the images and narratives of distant suffering and how ideologies, emotions and biographical experiences shape those responses. They also interviewed professionals from ten UK-based international NGOs to explore how they think about and produce their communications. The study’s findings are published in Caring in Crisis? Humanitarianism, the Public and NGOs (2017, Palgrave).
Professor Orgad's previous research focused on the online participation of breast cancer patients in Internet spaces. While much has been debated about the significance of the Internet, the actual processes of communication in which people engage online are as yet little understood. Exploring the ways in which participants in online spaces configure their experience into a story, her study offered an innovative way of understanding online communication as a socially significant activity. It is based on e-mail and face-to-face interviews with breast cancer patients, as well as an analysis of breast cancer related websites. The substantive focus of storytelling online is analysed in its specificity as a social phenomenon. At the same time it is connected to a broad range of debates on communication and Internet, health and illness and social agency. Professor Orgad has written about this in her book Storytelling Online: Talking Breast Cancer on the Internet (2005, Peter Lang).
Another interest of Professor Orgad's is ethnographic research methods and qualitative methods of Internet research. She wrote about this in chapters in The Oxford Handbook of Information and Communication Technologies (edited by Mansell et al, 2007) Virtual Methods (edited by Hine, Berg, 2005) and Internet Inquiry: A Dialogue Among Qualitative Researchers (edited by Markham & Baym, Sage, 2008), and in a review of the book "Online Social Research" in New Media & Society (February 2005).