Many individuals seek support through mediated contexts due to lack of support networks in other settings or because mediated spaces allow them the ability to disclose and connect as much or little as they want due to the unique affordances of online settings. Finding support is often more difficult for individuals from marginalized and stigmatized groups. I explore how the social and structural components of online support sites influence the support individuals seek, how they disclose their support needs, and how they perceive the benefits of receiving support through mediated contexts.
Self-Concept Change and well-being
Through everyday interactions, one's perception of self-concept can always change, solidify, or be challenged. This is especially true for individuals who experience uncertainty, stress, stigma, or marginalization due to an identity that they hold. I examine how contextual differences and social affordances (i.e. visibility, permanence, and ephemerality) influence the communicative practices and effects on one's self-concept and well-being in relation to how they present one's marginalized identity.
Mediated Relational Management
Mediated communication radically changes ways in which relationships are managed. Romantic relationships who must be separated for long periods of time and experience stigma due to their relationships (i.e. military relationships, loved ones of incarcerated persons, loved ones of hospitalized individuals) rely on mediated communication technologies to maintain these relationships. I examine the relational management and privacy management strategies individuals use.
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