Will Marler earned his PhD in Media, Technology, and Society in 2020 from the School of Communication at Northwestern University. Will’s research on digital inequality seeks to understand how social inequalities of class, age, gender, and race are reproduced and change with developments in digital technologies. While at Northwestern University, Will conducted a three-year online/offline ethnography of homelessness and technology use in Chicago, focused on how unhoused adults used social media and smartphones to support one another and develop social capital. In the Internet Use & Society Division at IKMZ, Will is exploring how digital inequality impacts changes in digital communication during the COVID-19 pandemic. Another of Will’s current projects examines social connection and technology use among older adults who live alone at home. Centered around long-term, community-based projects and ethnographic methods, Will’s research emphasizes the power of technology to reproduce longstanding inequalities, but also the agency that members of disadvantaged communities have in determining the effect of technology on their lives.
For more details on Will’s research, visit willmarler.org.