Over the years, police brutality content has toured the world. Those injustices have given rise to movements such as Black Lives Matter, raising awareness of fatal police violence as an urgent public health issue (Schwartz et al., 2020). Nowadays, police brutality is made more visible due to new technologies and social media. Videos, images and written accounts of violent encounters between police and racialised people have ignited social media. As Campbell and Valera (2020) explain, Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than White people and five times more likely to be unarmed when this happens. Due to the rise of social media usage and a rise in police violence, it seems sensible to study it. A correlation was found between police brutality and mental health, suggesting that police brutality be treated as a public health issue (Bor et al., 2018). In this study, mental health will be resumed to feelings of anger and fear; however, it may go beyond those two aspects of mental health as the research continues. Research has been conducted on mental health and police brutality; however, some have not examined it with social media. This study investigates young adult consumers’ usage of Instagram to protect their mental health when confronted with police brutality content. Cultivation theory and intersectionality will be used as theoretical frameworks to answer the research question and sub-questions. With cultivation theory, this study will demonstrate how older theories and theoretical concepts can be helpful in today’s changing media landscape. Looking at intersectionality in combination with cultivation theory is essential to have a better picture of the impact of being exposed to police brutality content on Instagram; data reveals that differences in consumer attributes and social backgrounds are essential in the cultivation process. In-depth interviews with ten respondents, five of whom are from marginalised communities and five of whom are White. Thematic analysis will be used to examine the interviews. In conclusion, the different chapters demonstrate that the racial backgrounds of each interviewee played a role in finding similarities and differences among them and bringing nuances to people’s usage of Instagram and the content consumed on police brutality. Reinforcing what was previously found in previous research but also introducing news nuances.

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Dr. Hester Hockin-Boyers
Media, Culture & Society
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Celena Kateryne Makola. (2022, June 27). Digitally Witnessing Police Brutality A Mixed Method Analysis (Interview and Thematic Analysis) on How Young Adults Manage their Instagram Usage to Protect their Mental Health.. Media, Culture & Society. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/65023