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Dr Bianca Fox, Faculty of Arts

Dr. Bianca Fox joined the University of Wolverhampton in 2015 as a Senior Lecturer in TV, Broadcasting and Journalism. She is now Acting Head of Department of Film, Media and Broadcasting. Before this, she held a Lecturer position at the University of Huddersfield. She is a former freelance journalist and holds a Ph.D. in Media and Communication Studies. Bianca has an outstanding international scientific background, she was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Westminster in 2011 and the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle in 2015, and has published in international journals from the UK, Italy, Germany and the USA.

Bianca is part of the Developmental Aspects of Literacy and Education in a Digital World working group, promoting an integrated and inclusive approach to digital literacy across Europe alongside scholars from other European countries. Bianca has been part of the research team of various European and worldwide projects and is also an active member of important international scientific associations, including IAMCR, ECREA, MeCCSA, an active editorial board member of Journal of Journalism and Mass Communication, Interpersona, and International Journal of Communication and Health and reviewer for Sage and Taylor&Francis Journals.  

Loneliness is the age of Mobile and Social Media

Research conducted so far  (Perlman, Gerson & Spinner, 1978; Salmela-Aro & Eronen, 1997; Cacioppo et al., 2002; Dykstra, 2009; Dykstra, van Tilburg, & de Jong Gierveld, 2005; De Jong-Gierveld & van Tilburg, 2010; van den Berg, Kemperman, de Kleijn & Borgers, 2015) shows that when discussing loneliness, the assumption is that we are talking about elderly people, usually ignoring young adults who also suffer from loneliness. According to Pinquart & Sorensen (2003), the prevalence and intensity of loneliness are in fact greater in young adults than in any other age group. Moreover, Victor and Yang (2012) argue that the extent of loneliness is U-shaped when mapped graphically against age, indicating that younger and older people have the highest risk of experiencing loneliness. Even so, to date, not much is known about loneliness in young adults. Thus far, there has been little if any in-depth research into how young people (18-24) live with loneliness despite the fact that research conducted in 2015 found that 83% of young people feel ‘often, always or sometimes lonely’ (The Big Lunch 2015; ACEVO 2015). With the exception of only a few studies (Cacioppo, Hawkley, et al., 2006; Nicolaisen & Thorsen, 2014; Blachnio, Perpepiorka, Boruch & Balakier, 2015; Luhmann, Bohn, Holtmann, Koch & Eid, 2016), research in loneliness constantly ignores this demographic and fails to address the loneliness that affects young people.

The general aim of the project is to analyse loneliness of university students and find out how loneliness is linked to their mobile phone and social media use. Is the use of smartphones and social media making us lonelier?

Specific aims:

  • Young people’s stories of loneliness – What does it mean to be lonely? Why are young people feeling lonely? How is loneliness understood? How is loneliness affecting their life (their studies, choices, decisions, social life, and/or careers)?
  • Examine how transitions can increase the risk of loneliness: for example, the transition period from college to university life, or from living with your parents to living alone in accommodation.
  • Explore if and how the use of mobile phones and social media can increase the risk of loneliness in young people. 
  • Identify support needs relating to loneliness for BME students and young people with learning disabilities, cognitive impairment, and/or sight and hearing loss, or deaf students.
  • Find solutions and understand how young people can be helped. How can we as a society tackle loneliness? What support is in place? What support is needed?

This mixed-methods project is a groundbreaking attempt to fill the gap in scholarship. Up to date loneliness has been measured using questionnaires (Cramer & Barry 1999) or large population surveys (Hughes, Waite, Hawkley & Cacioppo, 2004). This project aims to move forward the research on loneliness by using qualitative research methods to analyse loneliness.



Fox, B. (2018) Mobile Journalism: The Theory and Practice of ‘SmartMoJo’. Sage (forthcoming).

Fox, B. (eds.) (2018) Loneliness in the age of Mobile and Social Media. Palgrave (forthcoming).     

(2016) - Mitu, B., Poulakidakos, S. (eds.), Media Events: A Critical Contemporary Approach, Palgrave, ISBN 9781137574299.

(2016) - Marinescu, V., Mitu, B. (eds.), The Power of the Media in Health Communication, Routledge, ISBN 978-1-4724-7153-6.          

(2014) -Marinescu, V., Branea, S., Mitu, B. (eds.), Contemporary Television Series: Narrative Structures and Audience Perception, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, ISBN (10): 1-4438-5986-9, ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-5986-8.        

(2014) - Marinescu, V., Branea, S., Mitu, B. (eds.), Critical Reflections on Audience and Narrativity, Germany: ibidem-Verlag, ISBN-13: 978-3-8382-0609-7.


(2017) – Mitu, B. (co-author). In Search of Common Patterns: Political Advertising in Central and Eastern Europe. In Holtz-Bach, Christina; Rafter, Kevin, Novelli Eduardo (eds),Political Advertising in the 2014 European Parliament Elections, Palgrave Macmillan.

(2017) – Mitu, B.  Faire de la politique populaire: Les effets politiques de la tele-realite- les late-night talk-shows. Marinescu, Valentina; Branea, Silvia (eds.). Exploring Political and Gender Relations: New Digital and Cultural Environments. Cambridge Scholars Publishers.

(2016) – Mitu, B., Web 2.0 Media Events: Barack Obama’s Inauguration. In Mitu, B., Poulakidakos, S. (eds.), Media Events: A Critical Contemporary Approach, Palgrave, UK, ISBN 9781137574299.

(2016) – Mitu, B., Health in the Digital Era: Searching Health Information online. In Marinescu, V., Mitu, B. (eds.), The Power of the Media in Health Communication, Routledge, UK,  ISBN 978-1-4724-7153-6.

(2014) - Mitu, B., Audience Perceptions of Health in Grey’s Anatomy TV Series. In Marinescu, V.; Branea, S.; Mitu, B. (eds.), Contemporary Television Series: Narrative Structures and Audience Perception, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishers, pp. 133- 142.

(2014) - Mitu, B., Understanding Health in Grey’s Anatomy Television Series. In Marinescu, V., Branea, S., Mitu, B. (eds.), Critical Reflections on Audience and Narrativity, Germany: ibidem-Verlag, pp. 155-164.

(2013) - Mitu, B., Social Media and Citizenship Education. In Web 2.0 - New Perspectives for Education: The Social Media Revolution, AVM Verlag Publishing House, Munchen, Germany, ISBN -978-3-8473-2425-6.


(2015) Fox, A., Mitu, B., BBC News– Creating Audience in the Digital Era. International Journal of Digital Television, Intellect, UK (in print). Indexed in: Film and Television Literature Index; Film and Television Literature Index (with FT); TOC Premier; ProQuest High Technology and Aerospace; British Humanities Index; ProQuest Technology Journals, SCOPUS.

(2015) Mitu, B., Public Service Television: Struggle for Existence in the Digital Era. Media Watch Global, 6 (3), pp. 365-373. Impact factor: SJIF: 3.276, IIFS: 0.993, ISRA (0.834). Indexed in: SCOPUS, Elsevier, EBSCOhost, Ulrichsweb, EMBASE, ERIH Plus, CrossRef, CiteFactor, EBSCO Communication & Media Index, Asian Education Index, J-Gate, MIAR, AERES, DRIJ, Index Copernicus.

(2015) Mitu, B., Framing International Protests on Romanian News Portals. Revues des Sciences Politiques, Nr. 44, ISSN 1584- 224X. Indexed in: ProQuest, ProQuest Political Sciences, ProQuest 5000 International, EBSCO, Gale Cengage Learning, Index Copernicus, Georgetown University Library, DOAJ.

(2015) Mitu, B., Public Service Television: The Pursuit of Audience in a Multi—Platform Context. Ecoforum, Vol. 4, Special Issue 1. Indexed in: EBSCO, DOAJ, Ulrics, RePEc, ERIHPLUS, EconLit, OAJI, J-Gate, DRJI.

 (2014) Mitu, B., Vega, D. C., Consumer’s Participation on Brand Pages on Facebook. Journal of Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy. Indexed in: DOAJ, NewJour, ProQuest, RePec-EconPapers, Ulrich’s.