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Alternative Title

Effect social media, Black lives matter, and the 2016 Presidential election have had on racial discourse

Publication Date


First Advisor

Rob Eschmann

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Racism-United States, Social media, Internet, Black lives matter movement, Presidents-Election-2016, United States-Politics and government-2017-, Donald Trump, Race, 2016 presidential election, Participatory culture, Racial discourse, Black live matter


The purpose of this project is to explore how undergraduate students engage in conversations about race on campus and in the classroom. While these patterns are increasingly explained within academic discourse, this study hopes to expand the understanding of how race is discussed on campus in light of current events (Black Lives Matter movement, 2016 presidential election, and the rise of social media) and posits that the Internet has shaped current racial discourse. Eleven undergraduate students participated in focus groups exploring racial discourse on campus and online. Students reported that social media has increased racial discourse at large, both positively and negatively, and that demographic diversity in spaces on campus and online play a significant role in the quality, frequency, and depth of racial discourse. The ubiquity of the Internet, particularly for current undergraduate students, requires further study into lasting impacts social media and online interactions have on racial discourse.




iv, 124 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 108-116)