Young cyborgs?

Youth and the digital age

Authored by: Kate C. Tilleczek , Ron Srigley

Routledge Handbook of Youth and Young Adulthood

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138804357
eBook ISBN: 9781315753058
Adobe ISBN: 9781317619895

10.4324/9781315753058.ch33

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Abstract

The manner in which contemporary young people live requires a thorough analysis of one of the most significant aspects of their lives – digital technology. We argue that this kind of analysis is absent in much contemporary youth studies. Moreover, young people themselves are not often offered a critical space in which to ponder or speak about technology and their experiences of it. When they are spoken to about the matter, the questions posed are simplistic or aim to whitewash technology. Most of what has been written in youth studies about young people and technology is without nuance and critical reflection. In the social sciences more generally, research has tended to document trends in digital media access, map growth in user rates, and, more apologetically, argue in favour of technology’s ability to liberate and save youth and public education. But, the stakes of digital technology are much higher than this for youth and society. Counter-stories are needed beyond tracking the numbers of hours spent gaming and exploring whether Facebook friends are real or not.

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