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User ID/entity: Examining the Role of Online Interactions in Black Racial Identity Formation- LIB 100 / 201 APPROVED!

Date and Time

Thursday, December 1, 2016
4:00 PM - 5:15 PM


  • Loutit Lecture Halls » 102 - Lecture Hall


The GVSU Department of Sociology Presents

User ID/entity: Examining the Role of Online Interactions in Black Racial Identity Formation

a talk by David Martin, GVSU Alum and Doctoral Candidate in Sociology at the University of Oregon

Racial identity studies lack an adequate accounting of a dominant form of modern communication: social media interactions. Scholars acknowledge a complex relationship between communication practices and racial identity formation. Yet, how online interactions affect the development of multi-layered and complex identities remains largely underexplored. David Martin examines how online interactions enable new identity formation processes, moderate existing processes, and create new sites for those practices to be enacted.  To explore this research question, Martin examined survey and interview data from 172 Black college students, as well as the content of their social media profiles and communications. Results demonstrate how these students leverage online interactions, across multiple social network sites, to enact unique processes that facilitate the formation and presentation their racial selves. A primary contribution of this study is the development of the Triple A Schema (Armor/Anxiety/Affirmation), which explains how identity formation unfolds for students of color in the “information age.”


For more information, contact: Laurel Westbrook, Department of Sociology, or Jeffrey Rothstein, Department of Sociology,



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