2022 Lecture

Dr. Page Speaker: Keith N. Hampton
Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Lecture at 7 p.m.
Reception at 6 p.m.
Location: Mary E. Marburger Science and Engineering Auditorium (S100)

Digital Exclusion, Social Inclusion, and Michigan's Rural Youth: How Everyday Uses of Digital Media are Related to Student Performance, Psychological Well-Being, and Social Tolerance

Divides in Internet access and digital skills have broad implications for young people. Findings from two recent studies of secondary and post-secondary rural Michigan students highlight how digital inequalities compare to traditional inequalities related to race, gender, and geography for outcomes including classroom grades, standardized exams, educational aspirations, career interests, self-esteem, and social tolerance. While the COVID-19 pandemic has reanimated policy makers' focus on fixing gaps in broadband availability, addressing inequalities in access is only the first step in achieving better outcomes in relation to young people's academic performance and well-being. Improved outcomes are dependent on addressing traditional inequalities, enhancing digital skills, and augmenting the environment created by parents and teachers in relation to the opportunities and constraints they impose on young people's everyday use of digital media.

Keith N. Hampton is a Professor in the Dept. of Media and Information at Michigan State University, where he is also the Director for Academic Research at The Quello Center for Telecommunication Management & Law. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Toronto. Before joining MSU, he held faculty positions at Rutgers, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on how the use of communication and information technology is related to the structure of people's personal networks. Past work includes studies of neighboring, democratic engagement, digital inequality, and the urban environment. He has studied the outcomes of persistent contact and pervasive awareness through social media, including stress, depression, tolerance, social isolation, exposure to diverse points of view, and willingness to voice opinions. He teaches courses in social network analysis, technology and society, and research methods. In 2022, he received the Willian F. Ogburn Career Achievement Award from the Section on Communication, Information Technologies, and Media Sociology of the American Sociological Association and in 2017, he was elected a member of the Sociological Research Association.