Prof. dr. Tom De Leyn

Affiliated researcher at the research group for Media, Innovation and Communication Technologies, Department of Communication Sciences, Ghent University and Docent Tenure Track at UHasselt.


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Social Media
Youth Culture


Tom De Leyn is assistant professor in digitalisation and communication sciences at the School of Social Sciences (UHasselt) and an affiliated researcher at the research group for Media, Innovation, and Communication Technologies (imec-mict-UGent). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology (KU Leuven), a master’s degree in Social & Cultural Anthropology (KU Leuven), and a doctoral degree in Communication Sciences (Ghent University). 
Tom joined imec-mict-UGent in September 2018. He worked on a Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)-funded project about mobile youth culture and privacy. In his dissertation “Reframing debates on youths’ privacy”, Tom consolidated a socio-cultural perspective on young people’s privacy perceptions and practices. Moving beyond developmental frameworks on the life span, he explored how youths’ heterogeneous socio-cultural constellations inform mobile media appropriations. The project employed a qualitative multi-method approach.
The research interests of Tom are digital youth cultures, digital well-being, media literacy, mobile media, privacy, and social media. His research methods include (digital) ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and focus groups. Currently, Tom is the co-promotor of two PhD projects on how data-driven information and communication technologies are embedded in contemporary family life. Moreover, he is developing a socio-cultural and intersectional perspective on digital youth cultures, and is working on various studies about digital disconnection and digital inclusion.