Professor Sonia Livingstone

Professor Sonia Livingstone

Professor of Social Psychology | Doctoral Programme Director

Department of Media and Communications

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Sonia Livingstone OBE is Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE. She teaches postgraduate courses in media and communications theory, methods, and audiences and supervises doctoral students researching questions of audiences, publics and youth in the changing digital media landscape. She is author or editor of nineteen books and many academic articles and chapters. She has been visiting professor at the Universities of Bergen, Copenhagen, Harvard, Illinois, Milan, Oslo, Paris II, and Stockholm, and is on the editorial board of several leading journals. She is a fellow of the British Psychological Society, the Royal Society for the Arts, the Academy of Social Sciences and fellow and past President of the International Communication Association (ICA). She has received honorary doctorates from the University of Montreal, the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, the University of the Basque Country, and the University of Copenhagen. She was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2014 'for services to children and child internet safety.' 

Taking a comparative, critical and contextualised approach, Professor Livingstone's research asks why and how the changing conditions of mediation are reshaping everyday practices and possibilities for action, identity and communication rights. Her empirical work examines the opportunities and risks afforded by digital and online technologies, including for children and young people at home and school, for developments in media and digital literacies, and for audiences, publics and the public sphere more generally, with a recent focus on children’s rights in the digital age: see Global Kids Online, expert seminar report, publications and call for papers.

Professor Livingstone leads the project, Preparing for a Digital Future, which follows the recently-completed project, The Class, both part of the MacArthur Foundation-funded Connected Learning Research Network. She directed the 33-country network, EU Kids Online, funded by the EC's Creating a Better Internet for Kids programme, with impacts in the UK and Europe. She participated in the European COST action, Transforming Audiences, Transforming Societies, and leads ECREA's Children, Youth and Media group. She is currently researching parents' responses to the online commercial environment for their children. She gave a recent TEDX talk on How children engage with the internet. For an informal introduction to Professor Livingstone, read here.

Professor Livingstone serves on the Executive Board of the UK's Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), for which she is the Evidence Champion. She has served on the Department of Education's Ministerial Taskforce for Home Access to Technology for Children, the Home Secretary’s Taskforce for Child Protection on the Internet and the boards of Voice of the Listener and Viewer and the Internet Watch Foundation. She has advised Ofcom, Department for Education, Home Office, Economic and Social Research Council, BBC, The Byron Review, UNICEF, ITU, OECD, European Commission, Council of Europe, European Parliament, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.


Children and new media; Internet use; Media audiences; Media literacy; Mediated participation; Online risks and safety; Public engagement with communication regulation




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