Change Seminar: Carmen Gonzalez

Digital Equity and Meaningful Connectivity

December 5, 2017 | 12 PM | HUB 214

Close to 8 million U.S. children live with at least one English-language learner parent. This means that many children are growing up in bilingual families and likely perform the role of a child broker by bridging their family’s access to information and resources. Expanding the rich body of work on second-level effects of the digital divide, this research presentation posits that digital inclusion is actually a spectrum that can look different depending on family dynamics, self-efficacy, and local environments. As more resources and services migrate online, information-seeking and decision-making processes will likely become more collaborative within families with varying language and technical proficiencies; such a shift toward collective problem solving requires a re-conceptualization of connectivity in the digital age.

Biography: Dr. Carmen Gonzalez is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. Through community-based research, she studies how families gain access to information and resources that promote health, wellbeing, and resiliency. Her current work examines the implications of digital equity for health and financial literacy. With a focus on collaborative research and engaged scholarship, she works to bridge university and community efforts that address various forms of inequality. Gonzalez received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Communication, and B.A. in Print Journalism and Chicano Studies from the University of Southern California.