In recent years, there have been studies that have shown that social media is heavily associated with mental health, however, under certain circumstances and for certain groups. Black and Latina girls use social media to develop their sense of self, yet these very platforms force them to redevelop and question their existence. Mi’Chael’s research interests focus on the development of social identities and mental health for Black and Latinx adolescent girls. She aims to investigate how digital communities that are both emboldening and hostile influence self-esteem and self-consciousness, identity, and mental health. Mi’Chael plans to take a mixed-methods approach, using digital ethnography, critical discourse analysis, and in-depth semi-structured interviewing to analyze the effect of Twitter use on adolescent development. As a Black woman online, Mi’Chael is invested in uplifting the current dialogue around digital sociology, a sub-discipline that highlights the role of digital media in everyday life and social relationships.
MORE ABOUT MI’CHAEL
Mi’Chael has worked in interdisciplinary spaces, such as NOAA, where she explored using digital communication to build prepared and resilient communities during severe weather events. Mi’Chael’s current research will push the boundaries of academia and demand for interdisciplinary structural change to protect and prepare our future generation.
DISSERTATION GRANT AWARDEE — FALL 2022
Not on [ ]’s Internet: Black Girl’s Identity and Their Dichotomous Online Experiences
Using interviews, focus groups, and a digital ethnography, this Los Angeles based project examines the ways Black girls draw on their online experiences in the development and co-creation of their identities. This mixed-methods project explores identity development, mental health, and self-consciousness and how these are changed for better and for worse, through their online engagement and interactions. Ultimately, this work proposed the seriousness of adolescents’ digital lives and shows that they, too, are determinants of health and well-being.
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