Sam Chan Named 2018-20 Gerbner Fellow

Lik Sam Chan

Lik Sam Chan has been named the 2018-20 George Gerbner Postdoctoral Fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication.

In December 2017, Chan successfully defended his dissertation, which explored the implications of dating apps on feminist politics, gender performance, and the nature of intimacy in urban China, and he will receive his Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California in May. Prior to beginning his doctoral work, he was a copywriter in Hong Kong for clients like Red Bull, HSBC, and Wyndham Hotels. Chan holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communication from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a master’s degree in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Chan researches emerging dating app culture in the United States and urban China. His research is global and interdisciplinary in approach and uses both quantitative and qualitative methods. He has explored the role of gay identity in dating app use among gay men in North America from a social psychological perspective, and he has also examined the neoliberal, market logic behind the ambivalence gay men experienced in establishing intimate relationships through dating apps.

Chan’s work has appeared in leading communication journals such as New Media & Society; Communication, Culture & Critique; International Journal of Communication; and Critical Studies in Media Communication. Chan received a Top 4 Student Paper award in the Human Communication and Technology Division from the National Communication Association in 2017, the Top Poster Award in the Health Communication Division from the International Communication Association in 2017, and a Top 3 Student Paper award in the Organization Communication Division from the International Communication Association in 2015. His paper “Cultivation and Erosion of Creative Identity: A Hong Kong Advertising Agency as Case Study,” published in Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, was selected as one of six outstanding papers in Hong Kong Studies in 2016-17 by the Academy of Hong Kong Studies.

As a Gerbner Fellow, Chan will study the lived experiences of gay and lesbian dating app users in urban China. Combining this new research with his previous research on straight-identified dating app users, he will draft a book manuscript that examines the impact of dating apps on people across different genders and sexual orientations in China. Chan’s manuscript will be the first academic book to address this subject matter.