University of Southern California
Annenberg School for Communication


Research Areas


Globalization tends to be studied as a macro economic, political, or socio-demographic process. We feel it is important to include the largely unheard voices and experiences of everyday people of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds in the broader public debate on globalization. What meaning does globalization have for everyday people? How does the phenomenon of globalization play out in their lived behavior?

In the Metamorphosis Project, we have examined the visions and realities of globalization held by residents of 11 diverse residential areas in Los Angeles. We assume that people, individually and collectively, make their sense of globalization, and in so doing, become both reactive and proactive participants in the process.

As students of communication, we are particularly interested in understanding the ways in which new communication technologies are changing our world. By focusing on the everyday lives of people we are able to gain insights into why people usually surprise us in defying the proclamations of how new communication technologies will radically change the world as we know it.

In our studies, we examine whether people are incorporating the Internet to do new things (e.g., break down ethnic and cultural barriers), or to do old things in new ways (e.g., maintain or extend family and friend relationships). We also examine whether the communication opportunity structure of daily life is changing more rapidly for some groups than others. We find digital divides in access to the tools of the global era and inequalities in the breadth and depth of incorporation of these tools.

Research Team

- Carmen Gonzalez

- Chi Zhang

- George Villanueva

- Hayeon Song

- Jennifer Gibbs

- Joo-Young Jung

- Marina Litvinsky

- Minhee Son

- Sandra Ball-Rokeach

- Vikki Katz



Books Matsaganis, M., Katz, V.S., & Ball-Rokeach, S.J. (2011). Understanding Ethnic Media: Producers, Consumers, and Societies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Sturken, M., Thomas, D. & Ball-Rokeach, S. J., (Eds.). (2004). Technological visions: The hopes and fears that shape new technologies. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Published Papers Ball-Rokeach, S.J., & The Metamorphosis Project Research Team, (2000). The globalization of everyday life: Visions and reality. Metamorphosis Project White Paper. Communication Technology and Community Program, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California. Chen, N.-T. N., Dong, F., Ball-Rokeach, S. J., Parks, M., & Huang, J. (2012). Building a new media platform for local storytelling and civic engagement in ethnically-diverse neighborhoods. New Media & Society, 1, 931-950. doi: 10.1177/146144481143564 Gibbs, J., Ball-Rokeach, S.J., Jung, J. Y., Kim, Y. C., & Qiu, J. (2004). The globalization of everyday life: Vision and reality. In M. Sturken, D. Thomas, & S.J. Ball-Rokeach (Eds.), Technological visions: The hopes and fears that shape new technologies. Temple University Press. Gonzalez, C. (2016). “Health and Immigration.” In Contemporary Issues for People of Color: Surviving and Thriving in the U.S. Today (5 of 5 volumes - Immigration/Migration), Eds. Alvaro Huerta, Norma Iglesias-Prieto and Donathan L. Brown. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO / Greenwood. Gonzalez, C., & Katz, V.S. (2016). Transnational communication as a driver of technology adoption in immigrant families. International Journal of Communication, 10, 2683-273. Jung, J. (2016). Social media, global communications and the Arab Spring: Cross-level and cross-media story flows. In A. Douai & Ben Moussa, M. (Eds.), Mediated Identities and New Journalism in the Arab World. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. Jung, J.-Y., Ball-Rokeach, S. J., Kim, Y.-C., & Matei, S. (2007). ICTs and communities in the 21st Century: Challenges and perspectives. In C. Ciborra, R. Mansell, D. Quah, & R. Silverstone (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Information and Communication Technologies (pp.561-580). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Kim, Y. C., Jung, J. Y., & Ball-Rokeach, S. J. (In Press). Ethnicity, place, and communication technology: Effects of ethnicity on multi-dimensional Internet connectedness. Information Technology and People, 20(3).
Papers in Preparation Ball-Rokeach, S. J., Migration and immigration. In W. Donsfach (Ed.), Blackwell International Encyclopedia of Communication. Kim, Y.K. & Ball-Rokeach, S. J., New immigrants, the Internet, and civil society. In A. Chadwick & P. Howard (Eds.), The Handbook of Internet Politics. New York: Routledge. Lin, W.Y, Song, H., & Ball-Rokeach, S. J. Local media, global content?: Exploring the transnational ties that bind in new immigrant communities.
Papers Presented at Professional Meetings Ball-Rokeach, S. J. & Gonzalez, C. (2010). Conceptual tools for exploring immigrants' communication landscapes. Presentation at the International Communication Association (ERIC) and International Association of Mass Communication Researchers. Singapore Ball-Rokeach, S.J., & Matsaganis, M. (2008). Recreating global society in a global era: back to basics. Presented to the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy/Aspen Institute, Mountain View, CA. Gibbs, J., Ball-Rokeach, S., Kim, Y., & Jung, J. (2000). The Globalization of Everyday Life: Visions and Realities of Social Justice in the Internet Age. Paper presented at the Rochester Institute of Technology Conference on "Social Justice, Peace, and International Conflict Resolution: Civic Discourse beyond the Millennium", Rochester, NY. Lin, W. Y., Song, H. (2005). Local media, global content?: Exploring the transnational dialogue in the ethnic media in new immigrant communities. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, New York, NY. Liu, W., & Ball-Rokeach, S. (2012). Storytelling networks and immigrant political socialization: A communication resource-based model. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Communication Association, Phoenix, AZ. Matsaganis, M., & Katz, V.S. (2012) How Latino migration flows and Latino media growth influence local communities in the U.S. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Communication Association, Phoenix, AZ. Son, M. (2012). Uncovering the opportunities for Korean-Latino intergroup communication in Los Angeles' Koreatown through community-based collaborative research. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Communication Association, Phoenix, Arizona. Song, H. (2006). The relationship between humans, space, and media in globalization: The role of local and global news in ethnic media on the sense of belonging toward the residential area. Paper presented at the Annual Conference at the Association of Pacific Rim Universities Doctoral Student Conference, Singapore.
Dissertations Qui, L. (2004). (Dis)connecting the Pearl River Delta: The transformation of a regional telecommunications infrastructure, 1978--2002. Dissertation Abstracts International, 65 (07), 2411.
Other Presentations Ball-Rokeach, S. J. (June, 2009). Public service media: Three conceptual tools. Keynote to the Beyond Broadcast Conference Public Service Media from Local to Global. Ball-Rokeach, S. J. (March 2009) Globalization. Grounded traces. Keynote address to the Civil Society, Communication Conference. Southern Illinois University. Ball-Rokeach, S.J. (September 2008). Recreating civil society in a global era: Back to basics. Presentation given to The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, a project of the Aspen Institute and the John S.and James L. Knight Foundation. Presentation held on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at the Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California.