Document Type


Publication Date



The time-honored role that communication plays in the symbolic construction of young adults’ reality is always changing, perhaps no more so than in the age of ubiquitous global media. Yet research on how young people construct contemporary social media and political experiences is lacking. This panel, designed to extend research, reports the results of a qualitative examination of young women’s experiences with two salient aspects of contemporary life: the social, focusing on their parasocial involvement with social media influencers, but also the more politically consequential arena, with a look at the development of political attitudes as a function of political events and mediated politics.


The first six authors are undergraduate students in the School of Communication, Cleveland State University, where Richard M. Perloff is a professor.