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Black Nerds, Asian Activists, and Caucasian Dogs: Online Race-based Cultural Group Identities within Facebook Groups

Jenny Ungbha Korn
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Jenny Ungbha Korn: Department of Communication, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies (IJICST), 2015, vol. 5, issue 1, 14-25

Abstract: This study focuses on modern representations of race on the Internet. As race continues to be used as a meaningful category for understanding the social world, Internet-based displays of racial membership reflect the ongoing significance of race. Concurrent with Facebook's growth in popularity has been the development in ways that racial identity has been expressed online. While Facebook has been the site of study for individual behavior, Facebook Group behavior is still understudied. The author applies the communication theory of identity and self-categorization theory to digital expressions of race as examples of cultural markers of identification. Thematic analysis is used to examine intra-racial and cross-racial variances across cultural groups that are self-identified as White/Caucasian, Black/African-American, and Asian/Asian-American. The results indicate that users of colors create online representations of race that are different and counter to those found in mass media.

Date: 2015
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Handle: RePEc:igg:jicst0:v:5:y:2015:i:1:p:14-25