My program of research is designed to advance knowledge about the social, educational, and political significance of global youth movements and new media. Unique to my scholarly work is the provocation of dialogue between critical studies of new media and the study of social justice as it relates to youth organizing and community development. My work shifts the understanding of social organizing and the role of subjectivity in driving social justice, exploring collective forms of action and the connections that forged through globalization that forever tie together and differently impact individuals and communities across the globe. Central to this project is a re-conceptualization of the notion of individual agency as the driving force of political change, to a more collective notion of relational mobilities and a focus on movement and feeling in political change.
My primary research project, “Local Reels, Global Networks: Social Media, Civic Education and Community Development in Rural Nicaragua,” examines how youth negotiate discourses of empowerment, civic engagement, and social change through media production in programming run by Plan International and Amigos de las Americas. The work closely attends to the media projects youth produce around social issues in their rural communities. I have found that particular notions held by international development agencies about progress, social justice, and community participation shape how youth participate and what kind of narratives they produce.