Tien Ee Dominic Yeo

About me

My name is Dominic Yeo (pronounced “Yo”) and I am a tenured associate professor at the Department of Communication Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University. Born and raised in Singapore, I graduated with a PhD in social psychology from University of Cambridge and a first class honours bachelor's degree in communication from National University of Singapore.

I was awarded two competitive research grants from Hong Kong's Research Grants Council (RGC), under the General Research Fund (GRF) and Early Career Scheme (ECS) respectively, to investigate young people's use of social media and the implications for their wellbeing. My work has been published in flagship and leading communication journals such as Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Mobile Media & Communication, Health Communication, and Journal of Health Communication. I serve on the editorial boards of Mobile Media & Communication, Personal Relationships, and Frontiers in Communication.

Broadly speaking, my research examines communication practices and sociocultural phenomena around sexuality, health, and technology, particularly among lgbtq+ and young people. The three major themes of my empirical work, spanning qualitative and quantitative social scientific methods, are:

  • Social media use, encompassing social networking sites, mobile apps, and user-generated content

  • Digitally mediated self-disclosure, intimacy, and supportive communication

  • Lived experiences and lay articulations of health, especially in relation to sexuality or mental distress

The central theoretical concern of my scholarship is how social actors negotiate emergent and problematised ideas and practices. This curiosity has driven me to explain the emergent rise of user-generated videos in Hong Kong through the efforts of journalists at communicating the legitimacy of the practice (Yeo, 2016) as well as account for Hong Kong people’s differential attitudes towards social acceptance of gay/lesbian people, sexual orientation discrimination protection, and same-sex marriage through the influence of underlying sociocultural factors (Yeo & Chu, 2018). More recently, my co-author and I explicate how Hong Kong youth negotiate the drawbacks and disconnectivity of social media in their political engagement by theorising and illustrating their social media ambivalence and disconnective practices (Chu & Yeo, 2020).

Beyond this curiosity-driven agenda, much of my work coalesces around sexuality, health, and technology across two lines of inquiry:

  1. Socio-cultural aspects of HIV prevention and care among men who have sex with men (MSM). This research programme has shed light on the sexual risk behaviours of young MSM in relation to heteronormative and romantic beliefs (Yeo & Fung, 2016) and the use of gay mobile dating apps (Yeo & Ng, 2016) as well as identified the salient social-cultural factors of HIV-related stigma among the Chinese general population in Hong Kong (Yeo & Chu, 2017a).

  2. The role and impact of communication technologies and practices around intimate aspects of young people’s lives. This research programme has offered a novel perspective in explaining the reformation of social arrangements engendered by mobile dating apps through the social concept of time (Yeo & Fung, 2018) and challenged the cautionary views towards peer information exchange in sexual health communication literature by showing how social networking sites such as Facebook can facilitate supportive communication among young people on sensitive health topics (Yeo & Chu, 2017b).