Demographers predict the Hispanic population of Texas to surpass the non-Hispanic white population in about 8 years. While the groups are approaching equal size, a wide gap remains in political participation. Census Bureau figures for the last presidential election reveal a gap of more than 20 percentage points (61% to 39% turnout rates). While a number of cultural factors are involved, the proposed research would focus on the role of digital media fluency as an activity with the potential to foster community ties, build social capital and increase political participation.


The goal of the research is to identify individual media-related activities of Hispanic youth associated with higher involvement in community, social capital formation and political participation. In particular, we hypothesize that greater participation in the production and distribution of media content through social media channels will be associated with stronger ties to community and greater awareness of important local issues and higher levels of political involvement.

Principal Investigator: Mark Treymayne, Assistant Professor, Communication

Co-Investigator: Dustin Harp, Assistant Professor, Communication

Co-Investigator: Julian Rodriguez, Lecturer, Communication