Date of Award

8-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Communication, Technology, and Society

Advisor

Scott, D Travers

Committee Member

Jones , Karyn

Committee Member

Perpich , Diane

Abstract

This thesis examines women engineers' experience in social media with a focus on identity communication. Framing as a case study, this study attempts to explore women engineers' online presence and how they utilize social media in their daily activities. Using the concept of intersectionality, this study addresses the differences of social media usage among women engineers in terms of the use of social media by professional organizations of women engineers and the use of individual women engineers. Thematic analysis was conducted to analyze the public available data from a Facebook page maintain by a well-known women engineers' professional organization. Online survey was also conducted in order to capture individuals' perceptions of using social media. Findings show, first, similar trends of using social media can be found among women engineers as the most popular social media accounts owned by women engineers are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Second, women engineers use social media mostly for information exchanging and maintaining pre-existing relationships with friends and family. Third, women engineers considered social media to be not effective platforms for professional communication and privacy issues are the major concerns of adopting social media. In summary, this study offers insights on women engineers' online presence and suggests more effort is required in building online professional support networks for women engineers.

Included in

Communication Commons

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