Contact

Dr. Ellen J. Helsper

Room TW2.7.01E

Department of Media and Communications

London School of Economics and Political Science

Houghton Street

London WC2A 2AE

 

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7955 6420

Twitter: twitter.com/#!/ellenhel

Email: e.j.helsper@lse.ac.uk

 

 


 

LSE Experts

Profile and further information on research expertise

 

Dr Ellen Helsper

Associate professor, Director of Graduate Studies

Dr Ellen Helsper is Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor in the Media and Communications Department at the LSE. Her current research interests include new media audiences; digital inclusion; mediated interpersonal communication; and quantitative and qualitative methodological developments in media research.

The three main research projects she is involved in are the From Digital Skills to Tangible Outcomes Project; the Impact of marketing through social media, online games and mobile applications on children's behaviour and the EU Kids Online project. These inform the development of an index for digital inclusion for the UK’s Government Digital Services and Go On UK campaign. Other projects she is currently involved in are the longitudinal analysis of the World Internet Project and the evaluation of the Impact of BBC Media Action programming. Other studies she has been involved in include Wisekids Wales; Youth at risks and ICTs; Social Impacts of ICT; Net Addiction; Me, My Spouse and the Internet; and Online Gambling.

Ellen has held and currently holds Visiting Scholar positions at NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Media, Culture and Communications, the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and the University of Twente’s Media, Communication and Organisation Department. She has further held the roles of Specialist Advisor on Digital Inclusion for the Welsh Affairs Committee and External Examiner for the Institute of Arts, Design and Technology in Dublin. She has an MSc degree in Media Psychology from Utrecht University and has worked in Chile, Mexico and the US in commercial market and audience research.

Professional History

Ellen Helsper obtained her MSc-degree in media psychology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands in 1998. During the following 5 years she worked in Chile as an associate researcher for the Social Psychology and Media and Communications Departments at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica (PUC). She was involved in designing and analysing the first public opinion poll about the military coup in Chile and the effect of media framing on opinions towards the events on the day of the coup. Other projects she was involved in looked at the relation between fear of crime and media exposure in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, the importance of news anchors in television viewers’ everyday lives and the introduction of cable television and broadband internet into Chilean society. Simultaneously she worked in the commercial sector for Adimark and OMD as a media research consultants working on projects in relation to image management of broadcast personalities and general media market research.

This was followed by a period of work in New York and Mexico for OMD USA as a Latin American Audience researcher, looking amongst other things at the distribution and popularity of sports viewing around the world. She joined the LSE as a doctoral researcher in 2003 and was involved in the UK Kids Online Project which examined at children’s and their parent’s internet use and attitudes. While she was working on her PhD she did consultancy work for OSSWatch (Oxford University), Ofcom, the BBC and Plan International. The outputs of this consultancy work ranged from reports on the impact of R18 rated and food advertising material on young people to the use of Open Source Software in higher education and the evaluation of journalist training programmes in post-conflict areas.

In 2007 she obtained a PhD in Media and Communications with a thesis bearing the title: ’Internet use amongst teenagers: Social inclusion, self-confidence and group identity’. This was followed by a position as Survey Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII, University of Oxford). There she managed and analysed the biennial Oxford Internet Surveys (OxIS), the UK partner in the World Internet Project. She was responsible for designing and analysing the 2007 and 2009 surveys. She also worked on developing a research framework and project on the role of the Internet in intimate relationships through the ‘Me, My Spouse and the Internet’ project.

In her current position as an Associate Professor at the LSE, Ellen Helsper focuses on developing approaches to quantitative and qualitative research in relation to media and everyday life with a special interest in digital exclusion, media literacy and interpersonal interactions online.

Her main research interest is in the role of digital media in everyday life of disadvantaged social groups. An important element is the development of a theoretical framework to understand the links between digital and social exclusion based on theories of socio-cultural capital and social identity. Her current interest is in further developing the corresponding fields model which has been published as a paper in Communication Theory. This model seeks to theorise the multiple barriers that lead to digital disengagement as well as those factors that stop digital engagement from having an impact on economic, social, cultural, and personal aspects of everyday life. Most recently her focus is on understanding what explains the differences in tangible benefits people get from engaging with digital content. This interest is backed up by analysis of international datasets which have comparable data in this area. Cross-cultural comparisons of the processes that lead to engagement and to mediation of our everyday life, pose interesting questions about the generalisability of research in different socio-cultural contexts. She is currently working on the EU Kids Online project where she looks at how these processes work for different groups of young people.

Furthermore, she has a special interest in the development of methodology in relation to media and policy research, especially in methodologies related to the measurement and understanding of social impact and audience engagement. Important to her in this context is an understanding of engagement with media as multifaceted (for example incl. entertainment, communication and learning) and contextualised in everyday realities. This contextual and gradated approach to media engagement brings up difficulties for generalised policy and mono-methodological approaches.

Regarding future research she is interested in working further on the issue of the role of digital media in people's everyday social and personal relationships especially amongst mobile populations. This includes the relationship of mediated communication to social and psychological well-being and the cross cultural similarities and differences in the processes that make people lead 'digital' or 'non-digital' lives. The theoretical and empirical complications in disentangling forced exclusion and choice in these matters is what fascinates her most.

Articles

The emergence of a "digital underclass" in Great Britain and Sweden: changing reasons for digital exclusion
Helsper, Ellen J. and Reisdorf, Bianca C. (2016) The emergence of a "digital underclass" in Great Britain and Sweden: changing reasons for digital exclusion. New Media & Society . ISSN 1461-4448

Do the rich get digitally richer? Quantity and quality of support for digital engagement
Helsper, Ellen J. and Van Deursen, Alexander J.A.M. (2016) Do the rich get digitally richer? Quantity and quality of support for digital engagement. Information, Communication & Society . ISSN 1369-118X (In Press)

Development and validation of the Internet Skills Scale (ISS)
Van Deursen, Alexander J.A.M., Helsper, Ellen J. and Eynon, Rebecca (2016) Development and validation of the Internet Skills Scale (ISS). Information, Communication & Society, 19 (6). pp. 804-823. ISSN 1369-118X

Family dynamics and internet use in Britain: what role do children play in adults' engagement with the internet?
Eynon, Rebecca and Helsper, Ellen (2015) Family dynamics and internet use in Britain: what role do children play in adults' engagement with the internet? Information, Communication & Society, 18 (2). pp. 156-171. ISSN 1369-118X

A nuanced understanding of Internet use and non-use amongst older adults
van Deursen, Alexander and Helsper, Ellen (2015) A nuanced understanding of Internet use and non-use amongst older adults. European Journal of Communication, 30 (2). pp. 171-187. ISSN 0267-3231

Book review: status update: celebrity, publicity, and branding in the social media age
Helsper, Ellen (2014) Book review: status update: celebrity, publicity, and branding in the social media age. International Journal of Communication, 8 . p. 5. ISSN 1932-8036

Book review: danah boyd, it’s complicated: the social lives of networked teens
Helsper, Ellen (2014) Book review: danah boyd, it’s complicated: the social lives of networked teens. International Journal of Communication, 8 . pp. 2783-2786. ISSN 1932-8036

Offline social identity and online chat partner selection
Helsper, Ellen (2014) Offline social identity and online chat partner selection. Information, Communication and Society, 17 (6). pp. 695-715. ISSN 1468-4462

Distinct skill pathways to digital engagement
Helsper, Ellen and Eynon, Rebecca (2013) Distinct skill pathways to digital engagement. European Journal of Communication, 28 (6). pp. 696-713. ISSN 0267-3231

A quantitative examination of explanations for reasons for internet nonuse
Helsper, Ellen J. and Reisdorf, Bianca C. (2013) A quantitative examination of explanations for reasons for internet nonuse. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 16 (2). pp. 94-99. ISSN 2152-2715

Children, internet and risk in comparative perspective
Livingstone, Sonia and Helsper, Ellen (2013) Children, internet and risk in comparative perspective. Journal of Children and Media, 7 (1). pp. 1-8. ISSN 1748-2801

A corresponding fields model for the links between social and digital exclusion
Helsper, Ellen (2012) A corresponding fields model for the links between social and digital exclusion. Communication Theory, 22 (4). pp. 403-426. ISSN 1050-3293

The plausibility of cross-national comparisons of internet use types
Helsper, Ellen and Gerber, Monica M. (2012) The plausibility of cross-national comparisons of internet use types. The Information Society, 28 (2). pp. 83-98. ISSN 0197-2243

Adults learning online: digital choice and/or digital exclusion?
Eynon, Rebecca and Helsper, Ellen (2011) Adults learning online: digital choice and/or digital exclusion? New Media and Society, 13 (4). pp. 534-551. ISSN 1461-4448

Book review: the social dynamics of information and communication technology
Helsper, Ellen (2011) Book review: the social dynamics of information and communication technology. Information Communication and Society, 14 (2). pp. 295-297. ISSN 1369-118X

Netiquette within married couples: agreement about acceptable online behavior and surveillance between partners
Helsper, Ellen and Whitty, Monica (2010) Netiquette within married couples: agreement about acceptable online behavior and surveillance between partners. Computers in Human Behavior, 26 (5). pp. 916-926. ISSN 0747-5632

Gendered internet use across generations and life stages
Helsper, Ellen (2010) Gendered internet use across generations and life stages. Communication Research, 37 (3). pp. 352-374. ISSN 0093-6502

Digital natives: where is the evidence?
Helsper, Ellen and Eynon, Rebecca (2010) Digital natives: where is the evidence? British Educational Research Journal, 36 (3). pp. 503-520. ISSN 0141-1926

3rd ICTs and Society meeting; paper session - inequalities: social, economic and political; paper 6: implications and precisions about digital exclusion in the UK and Chile
Helsper, Ellen and Godoy-Etcheverry, Sergio (2010) 3rd ICTs and Society meeting; paper session - inequalities: social, economic and political; paper 6: implications and precisions about digital exclusion in the UK and Chile. Triplec, 8 (2). pp. 149-154. ISSN 1726-670X

Balancing opportunities and risks in teenagers' use of the internet: the role of online skills and internet self-efficacy
Livingstone, Sonia and Helsper, Ellen (2010) Balancing opportunities and risks in teenagers' use of the internet: the role of online skills and internet self-efficacy. New Media and Society, 12 (2). pp. 309-329. ISSN 1461-4448

Monographs

Tangible outcomes of Internet use: from digital skills to tangible outcomes project report
Helsper, Ellen J., van Deursen, Alexander J. A. M. and Eynon, Rebecca (2015) Tangible outcomes of Internet use: from digital skills to tangible outcomes project report. Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford, UK.

Harnessing ICT for social action: a digital volunteering programme
Helsper, Ellen (2014) Harnessing ICT for social action: a digital volunteering programme. Synthesis Report, European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Brussels, Belgium. ISBN 9789279394096

Harnessing ICT for social action: a digital volunteering programme (Spain, 25 March 2014) - Digital inclusion in Europe: evaluating policy and practice
Helsper, Ellen (2014) Harnessing ICT for social action: a digital volunteering programme (Spain, 25 March 2014) - Digital inclusion in Europe: evaluating policy and practice. Discussion Paper, European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Brussels, Belgium.

Investigating outcomes of online engagement
van Deursen, Alexander, van Dijk, Jan and Helsper, Ellen (2014) Investigating outcomes of online engagement. Media@LSE Working Paper Series, 28. Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

Measuring digital skills: from digital skills to tangible outcomes
van Deursen, Alexander J.A.M., Helsper, Ellen and Eynon, Rebecca (2014) Measuring digital skills: from digital skills to tangible outcomes. Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Country classification: opportunities, risks, harm and parental mediation
Helsper, Ellen J., Kalmus, Veronika, Hasebrink, Uwe, Ságvári, Bence and de Haan, Jos (2013) Country classification: opportunities, risks, harm and parental mediation. EU Kids Online, The London School of Economics and Political Science, London.

Excessive internet use among European children
Smahel, David, Helsper, Ellen, Green, Lelia , Kalmus, Veronika, Blinka, Lukas and Ólafsson, Kjartan (2012) Excessive internet use among European children. EU Kids Online, London School of Economics & Political Science, London, UK.

The emergence of a digital underclass: digital policies in the UK and evidence for inclusion
Helsper, Ellen (2011) The emergence of a digital underclass: digital policies in the UK and evidence for inclusion. LSE Media Policy Project Series, Broughton Micova, Sally, Sujon, Zoetanya and Tambini, Damian (eds.) Media Policy Brief 3. Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

Existential field 8: appendix to the report - special focus pieces
Georgiou, Myria, Haddon, Leslie, Helsper, Ellen and Wang, Yinhan (2010) Existential field 8: appendix to the report - special focus pieces. Working reports: Existential Fields, EF8. Family Platform Project.

Digital inclusion: an analysis of social disadvantage and the information society
Helsper, Ellen (2008) Digital inclusion: an analysis of social disadvantage and the information society. Department for Communities and Local Government, London, UK. ISBN 9781409806141

Digital natives and ostrich tactics?: the possible implications of labelling young people as digital experts
Helsper, Ellen (2008) Digital natives and ostrich tactics?: the possible implications of labelling young people as digital experts. Futurelab, Bristol, UK.

To be a network society: a cross-national perspective on the internet in Britain
Helsper, Ellen, Dutton, William and Gerber, Monica (2008) To be a network society: a cross-national perspective on the internet in Britain. Research report, 17. Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford, UK.

Mate selection in the network society: the role of the Internet in reconfiguring marriages in Australia, the United Kingdom and United States
Dutton, William, Helsper, Ellen, Whitty, Monica, Buckwalter, Galen and Lee, Erina (2008) Mate selection in the network society: the role of the Internet in reconfiguring marriages in Australia, the United Kingdom and United States. Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford. (Unpublished)

Meeting their potential: the role of education and technology in overcoming disadvantage and disaffection in young people
Bradbrook, Gail, Alvi, Imran, Fisher, John, Lloyd, Heidi, Moore, R., Thompson, V., Brake, D., Helsper, Ellen and Livingstone, Sonia (2008) Meeting their potential: the role of education and technology in overcoming disadvantage and disaffection in young people. BECTA research reports, BECTA, Coventry, UK.

Internet in Britain: 2007
Dutton, William and Helsper, Ellen (2007) Internet in Britain: 2007. Oxford Internet Surveys, 2007. University of Oxford, Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford, UK.

OSS Watch survey 2006
Helsper, Ellen (2006) OSS Watch survey 2006. OSS Watch, Joint Information Systems Committee, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

R18 material: its potential impact on people under 18- an overview of the available literature
Helsper, Ellen (2005) R18 material: its potential impact on people under 18- an overview of the available literature. Ofcom, London.

Inequalities and the digital divide in children and young people's internet use: findings from the UK Children Go Online project
Livingstone, Sonia, Bober, Magdalena and Helsper, Ellen (2005) Inequalities and the digital divide in children and young people's internet use: findings from the UK Children Go Online project. 5. London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

Internet literacy among children and young people: findings from the UK Children Go Online project
Livingstone, Sonia, Bober, Magdalena and Helsper, Ellen (2005) Internet literacy among children and young people: findings from the UK Children Go Online project. 4. OFCOM/ESRC, London, UK.

Active participation or just more information? Young people’s take up of opportunities to act and interact on the internet
Livingstone, Sonia, Bober, Magdalena and Helsper, Ellen (2004) Active participation or just more information? Young people’s take up of opportunities to act and interact on the internet. 3. London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

Websites/Blogs

Book review: the handbook of food research, edited by Anne Murcott, Warren Belasco, Peter Jackson
Helsper, Ellen J. (2014) Book review: the handbook of food research, edited by Anne Murcott, Warren Belasco, Peter Jackson. LSE Review of Books (01 Mar 2014) Blog Entry.

Britain needs a digital inclusion policy with concrete targets for both availability and take-up to counter the emergence of a digital underclass
Helsper, Ellen (2011) Britain needs a digital inclusion policy with concrete targets for both availability and take-up to counter the emergence of a digital underclass. British Politics and Policy at LSE (18 Aug 2011) Blog Entry.

 

  

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