Sixth Brown Bag of the Semester – March 22, 2013

Audio of the brown bag is available here.

Amy Gonzales, Assistant Professor: Department of Telecommunications at Indiana University

Disadvantaged Groups and Technology Use: Strategies & Survival


Certain populations (e.g. low-income, racial minorities) have historically been excluded from access to social capital (e.g. well-paying jobs, quality  healthcare). How is Internet technology being used to counter this social inequality? How is mobile technology in particular being used as a tool for health and well-being? I examine these questions in two studies: the first is a diary study of 2,660 social interactions from participants with diverse racial and educational backgrounds. The second involves semi-structured interviews with people in low-income communities in New York City. Survival strategies are addressed, including technology maintenance, which is the negotiation of technology that is increasingly available, but poorly functioning or temporarily disconnected.



Amy Gonzales is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Telecommunications at Indiana University. She completed her PhD in Communication from Cornell in 2010. She has a MA from Cornell in Communication and a MA in Social Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research examines the effects that communication technologies have on individual identity, social support, and well-being. She is especially interested in these effects for people from disadvantaged communities.

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