Hoan Nguyen – From Passing to Changing: Digitally Mediated Anti-Stigmatization Practices among Homeless Women

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

12:30 pm - 1:50 pm, ASC 236


Join us on Thursday, November 21st at 12:30 in ASC 236 for Hoan Nguyen’s discussion about “From Passing to Changing: Digitally Mediated Anti-Stigmatization Practices among Homeless Women”

This study examines the role digital technology played in countering social discrimination in the lives of homeless women in Los Angeles, drawing on several theoretical perspectives on stigma management, positionality, and human agency. Ethnographic fieldwork and in-depth interviews with homeless respondents reveal that these women employed various technologically mediated communicative practices to mitigate their stigmatization at the intersections of homelessness, gender, and class. Digital platforms such as social media and mobile chat apps provided them viable means to pass their stigmas via online self-presentation, reframe their stigmatized identities, and challenge the status quo by engaging in collective social change efforts. Furthermore, they tapped into technology affordances to ameliorate their individual capacities, mainly through increased learning and employment opportunities, to boost their personal autonomy and seek ways to exit homelessness. The theoretical and empirical contributions of the study are discussed, particularly expanding the traditional models of stigma management communication by suggesting the role of technology as a facilitator and human agency as an important part of the stigma management process.

About Hoan Nguyen: 

Hoan Nguyen is currently a second-year Ph.D. student and a graduate fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California. Her research interests broadly lie in the field of Information Communication Technologies and Society, with a focus on technology for social change, ICT4D, digital humanities and inequalities, and urban telecommunication infrastructure. Her work has been published in prestigious academic journals and conferences such as the Journal of Information Technologies & International Development, International Journal of Communication, and the International Communication Association annual conference. She has recently won the Yale M. Braunstein Student Award at the PTC’s 20Vision 2020 and Beyond conference. She was also a recipient of the 2017 ProSPER.Net Leadership Program Fellowship Award offered by United Nations University, Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability.

Lunch will be served. For any questions, email stabesh@usc.edu.