The Projection of Racial Identity on Social Network

Nolan Brinkman (1) , Laura Jacobi (2)
(1) Minnesota State University, Mankato 230 Armstrong Hall, Mankato, MN 56001, USA , United States
(2) Minnesota State University, Mankato 230 Armstrong Hall, Mankato, MN 56001, USA , United States


This quantitative study examined the projection of racial identity on social networks. A survey was distributed to 347 college students from a medium sized Midwestern university to assess ways in which participants depicted their racial identity on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. More specifically, scales were used to examine the use of photos and text, concealment of racial identity, and interactions with race related content. Results suggest that although participants do not intentionally hide or filter out their racial identity on social networks, they do not intentionally display racial identity on social networks either. In addition, independent samples t tests reveal that non-Caucasian participants are significantly more likely to post photos, communicate with others about their racial identity, and interact with racial content on social networks than Caucasian participants. Implications of the findings are discussed.

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Nolan Brinkman (Primary Contact)
Laura Jacobi
Author Biographies

Nolan Brinkman, Minnesota State University, Mankato 230 Armstrong Hall, Mankato, MN 56001, USA

Nolan Brinkman is a recent MA graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato and communication studies researcher. His research interests include identity and computer-mediated communication.

Laura Jacobi, Minnesota State University, Mankato 230 Armstrong Hall, Mankato, MN 56001, USA

Laura Jacobi is an associate professor in the Communication Studies Department at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research pursuits include instructional communication and communication pedagogy.

Brinkman, N., & Jacobi, L. (2020). The Projection of Racial Identity on Social Network. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 20(1), 52–64.

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