My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

Relevant links:

Archive

Living and Learning with New Media: Findings from a 3-year Ethnographic Study of Digital Youth

For the last three years, I’ve been a part of a team of researchers at Berkeley and USC focused on digital youth practices. This project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, brought together 28 different researchers (led by Mimi Ito and my now deceased advisor Peter Lyman) to examine different aspects of American youth life. As many of you know, I focused on normative teen practices and the ways in which teens engaged in networked publics. We are now prepared to share our findings:

Already, write-ups of our research have hit the press:

Needless to say, we’re excited by our research and uber excited by the coverage that we’re getting. For years, we’ve been finding that youth do amazingly positive things with the technology that they use. Yet, during that time, we’ve watched as parents and news media continue to focus solely on what is negative. We’re hoping that this report will help adults get a decent sense of what’s going on.

For those who are only familiar with my research, I strongly encourage you to check out the report to get a better sense of the context in which I’ve been working. I focus primarily on “friendship-driven practices” but the “interest-driven practices” that motivate creative production, gaming, and all sorts of user generated content are tremendously important. I focus primarily on what happens when teens “hang out” but there’s also amazing learning moments when they mess around and geek out with one another.

The book is currently available only in draft form but an updated print version will be available in the future. In the meantime, enjoy, and feel free to ask questions!!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

9 comments to Living and Learning with New Media: Findings from a 3-year Ethnographic Study of Digital Youth

  • Mark

    I was interested in reading more about the “digital divides” issue discussed in the Media Ecologies chapter, but i couldn’t find this information. Any help on locating it within the book would be uber fantastic! (pretty please?!) 🙂

  • Thanks for making the links available, also on today’s AoIR AoIR digest. I was amazed to see so many hostile comments on the NY Times, though http://community.nytimes.com/article/comments/2008/11/20/us/20internet.html . It left me wondering whether a highly descriptive approach – inevitably providing plenty of quotes exclusively provided by those 800 young participants is contributing to the widening of the gap between adult sceptics and young users of the Generation Digital Native. Ripped out of context in a highly disrespectful manner the comments provided by adults made me hope to see a subsequent discussion around power, a critical and more reflexive approach towards the methodology chosen and its implications. The very fact that the current Generation ‘Internet-Sceptics’ might be a rather unique and temporary phenomenon yet still very powerful as they are effectively those who regulate, parent and educate deserves more consideration and should be seen in conjunction to youth’s online activities rather than separately.
    http://britbohlinger.blogspot.com

  • @ Britta I am with you – so much hostility in those comments. I am always brought back to a statement that I read in one of danah’s articles – it was to do with kids not having a social space outside any longer. We lock them up and they need to socialize. There is so much to learn from this research and yet so many people focus on the trivial. All this attention to the use of short forms comments and the language that teens create – it is communication, its social and it is intended to not be like ones parents language.

    Not that you need the affirmation but – danah you do amazing research and you are gifted at seeing social patterns in teens that are the new reality that I am oblivious too. I really appreciate that you share your work and I look forward to reading all of these links over the weekend.

    Cheers – Eric
    P.S. Back in the day I would say your research is “totally boss”

  • jon

    Impressive work as always, and great context. New media technologies empower those who are growing up with them, aka youth; entrenched power structures are threatened by this and so cover it dismissively and emphasize the negative — and as Britta points out also regulate it to attempt to minimize its effect. Solid research like this highlighting the positive is a welcome antidote.

    The New York Times comments are pretty revealing …

  • Giacomo

    Just for let you know about a quote about you on one of the two most read newspapers on Italy, here what they said:

    “Secondo Danah Boyd, ricercatrice presso la School of Information dell’Università; di Berkeley, i social network non solo favoriscono l’ansia ma disabituano alla vita reale: “Andiamo verso una società di persone sempre più goffe e meno abituate a confrontarsi. Scrivere una frase ogni tanto è più facile, ecco perchè si accettano anche amici che non si considerano tali”.”

    -> For Dana Boyd, researcher at the Information School of Berkeley University, social networks, not only promote anxiety, but they make you get out of the habit of the real life: “We are going toward a society of people day by day more awkward and less used to confront each other. Writing a line now and then is easier, that is why you accept as friends also people who you do not consider as [real] friends.

    http://www.repubblica.it/2007/11/sezioni/scienza_e_tecnologia/facebook-pubblicita/facebook-amicizia/facebook-amicizia.html

  • Giacomo

    Just for let you know about a quote about you on one of the two most read newspapers on Italy, here what they said:

    “Secondo Danah Boyd, ricercatrice presso la School of Information dell’Università; di Berkeley, i social network non solo favoriscono l’ansia ma disabituano alla vita reale: “Andiamo verso una società di persone sempre più goffe e meno abituate a confrontarsi. Scrivere una frase ogni tanto è più facile, ecco perchè si accettano anche amici che non si considerano tali”.”

    -> For Dana Boyd, researcher at the Information School of Berkeley University, social networks, not only promote anxiety, but they make you get out of the habit of the real life: “We are going toward a society of people day by day more awkward and less used to confront each other. Writing a line now and then is easier, that is why you accept as friends also people who you do not consider as [real] friends.

    http://www.repubblica.it/2007/11/sezioni/scienza_e_tecnologia/facebook-pubblicita/facebook-amicizia/facebook-amicizia.html

  • Siva Vaidhyanathan

    When will the book be out?

  • trepot

    Mark, if you still need the info (hope you do) I can recommend you two good resources: http://rapid4me.com (rapidshare search) and http://file.sh (torrents base). If not one then another works great for me!

  • Henry

    Rapidshare search tool is great, thanks for your post. http://filepasswords.com