Browsing Theses and Dissertations by Subject "Web Studies"
Now showing items 1-3 of 3
Facebook and Other Internet Use and the Academic Performance of College StudentsThis study explored college students' use of the Internet and Facebook as well as whether usage patterns, and perceptions about the academic effects of use, relate to time spent studying and/or academic performance. One hundred sixty undergraduate students completed an online survey designed to measure the frequency, duration, intensity, and academic impact of their Internet and Facebook use. Results indicate that students devote a significant amount of time to both academic (M = 1.82 hrs per day) and recreational (M = 2.50 hrs per day) Internet activities, and that Facebook users (n = 153, 96% of the sample) spend an average of two hours per day on the site, accounting for almost half of total time spent on the Internet and approximately 80% of recreational use. Results also show that spending more time on the Internet for academic purposes, waiting longer to check Facebook when studying or doing schoolwork, and spending less time on the Internet for fun, are all significant predictor
PROTECTION AND EMPOWERMENT: EXPLORING PARENTS' USE OF INTERNET MEDIATION STRATEGIES WITH PRETEENSThis document presents a dissertation research study that examined parents of preteens and the protectionist and empowerment Internet mediation and media literacy strategies they reported using to guide their child's use of the Internet. Parents' use of protectionist and empowerment strategies, their confidence level in enacting these strategies, their attitudes about efficacy of these strategies, and the relationship among their attitudes about children's use of the Internet to these areas were examined. The study used an online survey (N=236) of parents who have preteens with Internet access at home, and parent interviews from a sample of the survey respondents (N=40), to gather data from a nationwide sample of parents. Parents were asked questions about their use of, confidence in, and perceptions of effectiveness of protectionist and empowerment Internet mediation strategies, what topics related to Internet use they have discussed with their child, and overall their attitudes about the Internet and children. The survey results show that the majority of parents use a combination of protectionism and empowerment strategies, but more heavily use protectionist Internet mediation overall. Parents reported high confidence in using most of the strategies, with slightly less (but still notably high) confidence in using empowerment strategies. Even though parents reported feeling confident using empowerment strategies, they used them much less than protectionist strategies. Protectionist strategies were also ranked as more effective than empowerment ones. Parents' attitudes about the Internet were also associated with behaviors. Parents' level of comfort in using the Internet and computers was positively associated with their overall engagement in their preteens' Internet use, whether protectionism or empowerment. Parental attitude about the Internet being a good place for their child was associated with the likelihood to use protectionist strategies. However, parents who did not believe the Internet was a good place for their kids tended to talk about more Internet behavior topics with their child. The interviews with parents revealed a typology of protectionist and empowerment strategies with three major themes and several subthemes. The first theme included strategies for monitoring the Internet, the second illustrated the types of protectionist and empowerment behaviors parents use, and the third theme encompassed the values that emerged regarding parents' family communication and roles, comparisons to other families, and hopes about the potential benefits of the Internet in their child's life. Among the three themes parents voiced their life experiences, feelings, and concerns and how those influenced their decisions around protectionism or empowerment. Similar to the survey results, the interviews show that most parents used protectionist strategies, with the most widely used strategies including "POS" (parent over shoulder), and having the child use the Internet in a public space in the home. Few parents who were interviewed co-surf online with their preteens, ask questions about the websites their kids visit, or encourage their kids to create things online. However, parents who worked in fields related to media and technology were more likely to use empowerment strategies. The interviews revealed that parents' use of protectionist or empowerment strategies is complex, and is interwoven with their attitudes, values, concerns, and hopes for the potential of the Internet for their child. This study challenges the field to consider four myths about parents and Internet mediation, including: 1) Parents are either protectionist or empowerment, but not usually both; 2) Parents who are more confident using Internet mediation strategies will use them more often; and 3) Parents who think the Internet is not a good place for kids are more likely to use protectionist strategies; and 4) Parents who are uncomfortable with technology are more likely to use protectionist strategies. Possible reasoning for these misconceptions about parents, and how this speaks to research in the field, are explored. This study encourages parent media literacy education efforts to include a balance and progression in protectionist and empowerment strategies by proposing a Stair Steps of Parent Internet Mediation framework. This framework explains an aspirational process for parent education around the Internet to guide future efforts for those who work in parent media literacy education.
SPEAKING ABOUT RACE: BIOPOWER AND RACISM IN THE VIDEOGAME LANDSCAPEThis dissertation explores how discourses surrounding race and economics inform the way in which videogame creators understand their world and use that understanding to create content. Employing a Foucauldian discourse analysis, the content of two videogames, Skyrim and Max Payne 3, were analyzed. The analysis of Skyrim revealed that race is constructed as an inherently biological phenomenon. Moreover, culture is constructed as emerging from biology. The analysis of Max Payne 3 revealed that capitalism grounds the construction of race so that biology and culture serves to justify the economic position of light-skinned and dark-skinned Brazilians. These constructions come from various sources such as the works of J. R. R. Tolkien and film noir. The dissertation also interviews videogame developers using semi-structured interviews to examine the extent to which content creators are aware of these discourses and how industry norms and economics affect those discourses. Videogame developers revealed that these discourses stem from a market pressure to make videogame narratives understandable and sellable.