[Air-L] American Youth's Differential Use of New Media

Mary L. Gray qcentral at indiana.edu
Fri Jan 9 08:34:41 PST 2009

Hi folks,

Tina: I agree with sentiments of the other posts: 1) there's not much  
out there and 2) as Caitlin Fisher noted, other than the Pew study,  
one of the better compilations of work out there is the "Digital Youth  
Research Project" funded by the MacArthur Foundation...here's the  
link: http://digitalyouth.ischool.berkeley.edu/report

I'd also recommend looking at Sonia Livingstone's work in the the UK  
as a counterpoint (to get a sense of the differences between work in  
the U.S. and elsewhere). David Buckingham's collection "Youth,  
Identity, and Digital Media" (MIT Press, 2007) is another broader take  
on the questions you might find yourself asking.

Crispin Thurlow is editing a special collection of the Journal of  
Computer-Mediated Communication addressing youth's differential uses  
of new media. You might email him to ask if the volume's publication  
date has been scheduled. JCMC came out with a really interesting  
special issue on SNS (not youth-specific) that's also a great  
collection to examine for more background (here's the intro article):  
boyd, d. m., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites:  
Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated  
Communication, 13(1), article 11. http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/boyd.ellison.html

And a bit of shameless self-promotion (drums rolls a'rolling): my book  
"Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural  
America" (NYU Press, 2009) will be out this August. It's a veritable  
trifecta of differential use: how lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and  
questioning young people use new media to craft a sense of visibility  
in rural, working poor communities in the U.S. Specifically, it looks  
at how the politics of gay visibility (expectations to be out and the  
naturalization of the coming out process) interplay with class, race,  
sexuality, gender, and space to shape young people's new media use. I  
use ethnography to examine how young people engage new media to  
collectively rework the boundaries of visibility and queer  
authenticity vis-a-vis their families, schools, communities, and  
online networks (hopefully troubling what we take for granted about  
the boundaries between online and offline experiences and where we  
expect to find queer identity work along the way).

You've picked a great area of research, Tina. I hope you add to the  
growing body of work particularly concerned with the lives of youth  
under 18. Th research on this demographic is particularly thin and in  
need of a critical eye.

All the best,

On Jan 8, 2009, at 6:00 PM, air-l-request at listserv.aoir.org wrote:

> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2009 09:17:56 -0800
> From: "Tina Matuchniak @UCI" <tmatuchn at uci.edu>
> Subject: [Air-L] American Youth's Differential Use of New Media
> To: "AIR Listserve" <air-l at listserv.aoir.org>
> Message-ID: <D68ECA477F944ACF8713C3B1968C9629 at tinalaptop>
> Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="iso-8859-1"
> Hello,
> I am a graduate student at the University of California, Irvine,  
> currently working on a project about use of new media (SNS, games,  
> video production, etc.) amongst youth.
> I was wondering if someone could point me to any studies on American  
> youth's differential use (by gender, race, SES etc.) of new media.
> Thank you for your time,
> Tina Matuchniak
> Graduate Student
> Department of Education
> University of California, Irvine

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