Communication. Identity. Technology

Research: Interests.

Interpersonal and Intergroup Communication: I am interested in how social identities are constructed, managed, and confirmed through interpersonal/intergroup communication in a variety of contexts. I am primarily interested in how different channels and platforms can enable and constrain particular social identities.

Computer-Mediated Communication: I am interested in how interpersonal communication and identity construction and management are impacted by a heavily networked society where individuals have integrated multiple ways of communicating in their daily lives. I am also interested in virtual communities from a networked perspective.

Research: Dissertation.

My dissertation explores how ethnic identity is influenced by specific technological and architectural elements of digital platforms. Specifically, I am concerned with how the perception of audience is altered through the perception of ingroup/outgroup members, particularly in public spaces where audiences can comprise a “Global Village”. The technological affordance of visual anonymity also allows individuals to focus more on the text/message itself. The valence of the message is also an element of digital platforms in which influence the perception of the individual and the group. Finally, digital platforms are ripe with nonverbal feedback in the form of social recommendation systems (e.g., ‘like’, ‘upvote’). These social recommendations provide individuals with credible content and are also a form of feedback that potentially impacts the message creator.

Collectively, these structural elements of audience, valence, and feedback have potential impacts on ethnic identity. In order to explore this impacts, my dissertation uses Tajfel’s social identity theory paired with communication theory of identity and social identity model of deindividuation effects to measure how identity is directly impacted by communicating on platforms that afford those structural elements.

I am currently in the process of collecting data. I plan on posting a summary of results and implications in due time.

Research: Papers 

Kienzle, J., Wertley, C., Soliz, J., & Coatney, H., & Ledbetter, G. Religious pluralistic language in a computer-mediated communication context: Effects of intergroup salience and religious orientation.

Kienzle, J. Taking the familiar stranger to a new place: How the Nintendo 3DS StreetPass feature enables a networked society.

Kienzle, J. Interpersonal communication competence on Snapchat and Facebook: A media multiplexity approach.

Moore, J., Kienzle, J., & Flood Grady, E. Discursive struggles of tradition and non-tradition: Retrospective accounts of married couples who cohabited before engagement.