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Cellular Phones and Inequality in Washington DC [Research Assistantship]

Professor: Alexander Dent

Department: Anthropology

Title: Cellular Phones and Inequality in Washington DC

Description: In an era in which 95% of American adolescents across socioeconomic status (SES) have a cellular phone, most of which are “smartphones” capable of accessing an array of digital networks, it is tempting to believe that interconnection and access to information have equalized.  However, if you dig beneath the surface you find that profound differences exist with respect to access, reliability, and capacities for cell phone use as reflected in lived experience, including schooling and home life. This research proposes to explore how inequality persists in new forms through cellular telephony in Washington DC, a city that has a long history of inequality. In more detail, we seek to test the hypothesis that variations in cell phone practice impact rising inequality in schools and households.

Duties: Doing innovative research on digital technology. In more detail, data collection (interviews, observations, mapping, focus-groups); data analysis (coding, transcription); grant and article writing; brainstorming. We are looking for someone interested in media use, ethnography, and the relationship between theory and data.

Time commitment: 2-8 hours per week

Credit hour option*: 1-3

Submit Cover Letter/Resume to: asdent@gwu.edu

*If credit is sought, all registration deadlines and requirements must be met. Students selected to be research assistants should contact Ben Faulkner at benfaulkner@gwu.edu whether they intend to pursue credit or not.

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