Presentation by Dr. Jesse Fox: Online Experiences of Marginalized Individuals: Affordances of Harassment, Silencing, and Empowerment

Event Date: 

Monday, November 19, 2018 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Event Location: 

  • SS&MS 1009

Event Price: 


Event Contact: 

Dr. Joseph Walther,

The UCSB Department of Communication and The Center for Information Technology And Society Presents:

Online Experiences of Marginalized Individuals: Affordances of Harassment, Silencing, and Empowerment

Dr. Jesse Fox, Associate Professor, The Ohio State University

In the 1990s, the internet was heralded as a place where the social hierarchies in the physical world could be overcome. In the 2010s, the internet is often described as a hostile place, where we’re told not to feed the trolls and to never, ever read the comments. What happened? Marginalized individuals have, arguably, experienced the greatest highs and lows of online interactions. Many have accomplished goals they would not be able to offline, such as finding others with a shared identity. As users’ online presence is increasingly anchored to their offline identities, however, marginalized individuals have also become vulnerable to greater risks. In this talk, I will adopt an affordance-based perspective to examine these positive and negative experiences. In sharing findings from several studies, I will discuss the advantages and shortcomings of various communication theories for understanding the experiences of marginalized individuals in various online environments.

Jesse Fox (Ph.D., Stanford University) is an Assoc. Professor in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University and Dir. of the Virtual Environment, Communication Technology, and Online Research (VECTOR) Lab. Her research interests include (but not limited to) experiences of marginalized individuals online; effects of sexualized and objectified media; technologically-mediated communication in romantic relationships; the role of affordances in experiences with communication technologies; and the use of avatars and virtual environments for the delivery of prosocial messages, particularly in the areas of health and environmental communication.