Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Minorities in Engineering
A Mixed-methods Study of Non-text Social Media Content as a Window into African American Youth STEM Identities
Historically, researchers have observed that some African American youth suppress public expression of their interests in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) topics. Prior research has attributed youth denial of STEM identities to their perceived social pressures. When researchers interview participants in STEM education experiences, we receive certain responses that help us to learn about STEM identities. When we look to social media content, which is sometimes shared publicly and voluntarily, we see a possible window into the perspectives and identities of African American youth and young adults that may help us learn about STEM identities in a new way.
Non-text paralinguistic elements in social media content, such as emoji, hashtags, and images, provide a potentially rich source of personal identity self-expression and sociocultural insights into emerging African American youth STEM identities. Acknowledging and respecting the modern ways that youth choose to express their identities, we sought to include paralinguistic elements in our analysis of their STEM-related public discourse on Twitter and Instagram social media platforms.
Our theoretical framework was that of a sociocultural view of identity development, built upon the concept of communities of practice. We used dimensions of communities of practice as a framework to organize and analyze the artifacts in our datasets, and as a means to understand the contributing roles of paralinguistic elements in those artifacts. When utilizing this framework, we examined youth self-description, looking for trajectories of identification with multiple communities and social spaces, including hybridity and crossing social spaces.
In this paper, we describe the mixed-methods study, with results and dataset analysis.
Auguste, D., & Ennis, T. D., & Miller, S. L., & Polman, J. L. (2018, June), A Mixed-methods Study of Non-text Social Media Content as a Window into African-American Youth STEM Identities Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29699
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