Media and Identity Study

Ongoing since 2011


Principal Investigators: Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D.

Funded by the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) 35th Anniversary Fund and a Robert Wood Johnson New Connections grant, the Media & Identity Study targeted and recruited diverse, hard-to-reach populations of youth nationwide using novel recruitment procedures to understand how media shapes the lives of youth nationwide, particularly through online social networking. The mixed-method online study surveyed over 2,300 young people aged 12-25 in 47 states with 34 follow-up interviews. The project examined the role of televised media, social media, and civic engagement in influencing how young people form their racial, ethnic, cultural, gender, sexual orientation, and political identities.

In January 2015, Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D. was a panelist in the webinar, “Using Technology to Improve the Health of Underserved Populations,” which looked at ways modern digital and information technology can help address health disparities among ethnic minority groups. In this webinar, she featured preliminary results of the Media & Identity Study and discussed how healthcare practitioners can better understand how particular subgroups use the internet and social media in their everyday lives, in order to develop more effective online interfaces and interventions that reach vulnerable populations. View webinar.

In October 2015, the research team presented overviews of recent and emerging findings from the Media & Identity Study at a Wellesley Centers for Women Lunchtime Seminar. The team, which included scholars Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D. and Amanda Richer, M.A. along with Wellesley College student interns Budnampet Ramanudom and Huiying Bernice Chan, discussed a range of risk and resilience findings related to social media use, from cyber harassment to building community and social capital. Listen to the recording.

Watch more videos about the Media & Identity Study

For questions, please email Dr. Linda Charmaraman at mediaidentityproject AT

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