Cornelia Reyes Acosta

Supervisors: Dr. Ellen Helsper and Dr. Bart Cammaerts


Research Topic: Unravelling the social networking mystery – on the significance of digitally mediated social ties in achieving recognition in the artistic sector.

Research Interests: New media, social capital research, social network analysis, visual research methods, qualitative social network analysis, creative industries.

In my doctoral research at the LSE I look at the relevance of resources based on digitally mediated social ties in the careers of creative professionals, specially photographers and fine artists. Using Bourdieu’s concept of social capital as a framework, I am investigating the perceived nature of social relationships maintained via online social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter and associated resources. I am using a qualitative approach to social network analysis in order to facilitate a more holistic understanding of how digital social relatedness ties in with more traditional forms of social interaction. Using hand drawn network maps in my work together with artists, I am particularly interested in applying arts-based visual research methods to understand complex social processes.

Work experience

Prior to coming to the LSE, I was working for the European Youth Information and Counselling Agency (ERYICA), an independent European organisation composed of national youth information coordination bodies and networks based in Luxembourg. There, I was responsible for managing the “Safety and Quality in Youth Information” project, a European Commission funded project with the aim to create and disseminate knowledge for Youth Information workers to empower young people to make better use of available online Youth Information resources. At ERYICA I was responsible for managing a network of 30+ member countries across Europe and liaising with representatives of major stakeholders such as the European Commission, the Council of Europe and the European Youth Forum.

Aside from my experience at ERYICA, I have also received extensive training as a radio journalist at the Austrian Broadcasting Cooperation (ORF) radio division and at Thomson Reuters in Vienna.

Academic background

I have obtained a first degree in Communication Sciences, Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Vienna, which I completed in 2006 with a dissertation that investigated the changing working conditions of Austrian radio journalists as influenced by the deregulation of the Austrian radio sector (with distinction). Upon completion of my degree in Vienna, I went on to do a Master’s in European Communication Studies at the International School for Humanities and Social Sciences (now Graduate School for Social Sciences) at the University of Amsterdam. There, I discovered my interest for the Internet and its effects on society. I graduated in 2008 with a master’s thesis on war blogs and their relevance for deliberative democracy, with support of supervisors Dr. James Slevin and Prof. Cees Hamelink.

Academic Awards

ESRC – Economic and Social Research Council – Doctoral Training Studentship

LSE Department of Media and Communications – Media and Communication Research Studentship

Austrian Federal Ministry for Science and Research (BMWF): Postgraduate studentship for financing Master’s studies at the University of Amsterdam.