Semester of Graduation

December 2022

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people communicate, live, socialize and perhaps the way they feel about the Asian population. The United States has seen a rise in the Asian hate crimes on online and offline platforms since the beginning of the pandemic which has affected the overall well-being of the Asian population. To our knowledge, the present study is one of the first studies to address the effects of COVID 19-related online perceived racial discrimination on the self-esteem of Asians. Additional objectives were to reveal the different coping mechanisms being used by the Asian population to cope with self-esteem issues and to tease apart any differences in the coping mechanisms used by the low self-esteem and high self-esteem groups. Out of the 510 participants who were sent the survey via Lucid, 506 participants answered questions about their social media use, online perceived racial discrimination, self-esteem, and coping mechanisms. Using correlations, qualitative content analysis and chi-square test, the findings revealed that increased use of social media led to increase in online perceived racial discrimination. The study also identified 9 categories of coping mechanisms used to cope with self-esteem issues and identified that people in low self-esteem group were not as motivated as the high self-esteem group people to use coping strategies. This study aimed to make a positive contribution to the scant literature on COVID 19-related online racial discrimination and its effects on self-esteem. We believe my findings can make educators and policy makers aware of the situation and formulate policies and solutions that address online racial discrimination and self-esteem issues, especially among Asian population.

Date

8-31-2022

Committee Chair

Dr. Lance Porter

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