chapter  7
23 Pages

Global Links From the Postindustrial Heartland: Language, Internet Use, and Identity Development Among U.S.-Born Mexican High School Girls

Research on Internet chat room use, especially regarding role play with online

identities, tends to focus on the implications of users’ online fantasies for

their present-day lives (Turklc, 1995; Wallace, 1999). Because access to Internet

chat rooms can give participants opportunities to experiment with new identities

or simply interact with people they might not otherwise meet, research on chat

room use is relevant to understanding identity processes. This is particularly important

to educational research on the importance of identity work to student achievement

(Hemmings, 2000). However, the existing emphasis on the role of Internet chat rooms in

users’ current lives overlooks the vital connection between Internet chat room

use and future identity roles. This is an important extension of existing research

on the role of the future in students’ current educational decisions (Yowell, 1999).