Technology Maintenance Matters

Event Date: 

Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 12:00pm

Event Location: 

  • 1310 SSMS (CITS Conference Room)
Join us for a CITS Research Talk with Professor Amy Gonzales titled "Technology Maintenance Matters:  What we ask (and should be asking)  in digital inequality research". Continue reading for more information about the talk, and Professor Gonzales' research.
As ownership and use of information and communication technology (ICT) begin to peak, disruptions in material access to ICT take new form. Low-income populations may struggle with technology maintenance, the process of constantly seeking and re-establishing digital access. To explore this I will present findings from a content analysis of 268 public surveys that reference ICT access and use.  I will then report findings from two pilot surveys that include measures of maintenance in student and non-student samples. Those findings reveal that poor device quality and instability correspond with lower GPA, greater stress, and worse quality of life, though traditional access measures have no relationship with these outcomes. I will conclude with a discussion of next steps for researchers and the role of policy in shaping digital inequalities. 
Amy Gonzales is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her work examines the effects of social interaction via communication technologies on individual identity, social support, and well-being. She is especially interested in these phenomena for people from disadvantaged communities (e.g., racial/ethnic minorities, low-income populations, LGBTQ individuals, etc.). Her work aims to advance theoretical understanding and real-world solutions that may help mitigate the long-term consequences of new digital infrastructures that may otherwise exacerbate social inequalities.  
Amy Gonzales