The aim of this article is to outline an emerging research area, evolving around young people and contemporary digital arenas. The field is growing in size, shape and complexity and the need for study is urgent. The research area is also somewhat elusive and its outline is changing very quickly over time. In previous works the authors have focused on different parts of this area, and in this article bring ideas together to form a joint research base.
The first theme is identity; what factors influence young people's identity development and how do we interpret identity in a changing media landscape as well as in a changing society?
The second theme is learning; have contemporary media influenced the processes and outcomes of learning and if so, how can the educational system benefit from and exploit this?
The third theme is what we in this context call abusive practices; how can we understand abusive behavior on the internet, among and towards young people?
The issues problematized in this article are to be seen as a probing for and a framing of a research base for further development.
The overall aim of the proposed area of study is to identify, analyze and problematise contemporary digital channels of communication and learning in particular, expressions of abusive behavior, and their influence on digital culture and digital native identity construction, with a specific emphasis on issues related to age, class, gender and ethnicity.
Umeå: Fakultetsnämnden för lärarutbildning , 2008. no 3-4, 35-50 p.