Social network sites, online games, video-sharing sites, and gadgets such as iPods and mobile phones are now fixtures of youth culture. They have so permeated young lives that it is hard to believe that less than a decade ago these technologies barely existed. Today’s youth may be coming of age and struggling for autonomy and identity as did their predecessors, but they are doing so amid new worlds for communication, friendship, play, and self-expression.
This white paper summarizes the results of a three-year ethnographic study, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, examining young people’s participation in the new media ecology. It represents a condensed version of a longer treatment of the project findings. The study was motivated by two primary research questions:
- How are new media being integrated into youth practices and agendas?
- How do these practices change the dynamics of youth-adult negotiations over literacy, learning, and authoritative knowledge?
Written by Mizuko Ito, Heather Horst, Matteo Bittanti, Danah Boyd, Becky Herr-Stephenson, Patricia G. Lange, C.J. Pascoe, and Laura Robinson
Published in November 2008
Living and Learning with New Media