Part of the Volume on Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media
Racially marginalized youth are doubly disadvantaged by their lack of access to quality healthcare as well as communication technologies. We suggest that race-based disparities among the nation's youth are manifested in individual-level differences in motivation and perceived ability to search for health information, and in perceived efficacy to use new media technologies. These disparities are due to biases in traditional communication infrastructures and limited educational opportunities available to the underserved. In proposing an agenda for new media applications in healthcare directed at minority youth, we advocate (a) ensuring access to online technologies, (b) developing educational programs that build health information and technology efficacy in underserved populations, (c) developing culture-centered healthcare technologies accommodating communication needs of underserved youth, and (d) harnessing the dialogic potential of online media for fostering healthcare activism among marginalized youth such that they can go about challenging the dominant structures that constrain their lives.