This online workshop will explore the latest evidence and best practice when it comes to understanding and responding to young people's contemporary digital cultures.
This workshop will explore 'online harms' in youth digital culture. There is ongoing public and political debate around protecting young people from online harms and the risks connected to their use of digital media. These risks and harms relate to sex and relationships, exploitation and grooming, (cyber)bullying and harassment, 'addiction' and overuse of digital media, among other issues.
The evidence is clear that young people find risk-averse and negative interventions and education disengaging and disconnected from their diverse lived experiences and the realities of their digital cultures. While there is growing awareness of the need for a different approach, there remains a challenge in devising policy that sufficiently reflects young people's voices and in translating policy into practice on the ground.
This free online workshop will bring together scholars, policy-makers and practitioners to discuss how we could and should respond to young people's digital lives in all their complexity. The workshop will involve paper presentations, panel discussions and break-out sessions to explore and engage with the theoretical, conceptual, empirical and practical aspects of contemporary youth digital culture. An objective of the workshop is to strengthen the collaborative network of scholars, policy-makers and practitioners engaged with this topic and to enable coordination and the identification of a research, policy and practice agenda. In so doing, we will enhance our ability to contribute to ongoing public debates and policy development in the field.
We welcome proposals for papers and panel discussions.
Professor Andy Phippen, University of Plymouth
Professor Emma Bond, University of Suffolk
Dr Emily Setty, University of Surrey, will also be discussing a new eNurture UKRI funded project exploring young people’s perspectives on online ‘transgressions’ with collaborators from the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, Birkbeck; The Open University and Young Minds.
Dr Emily Setty, Department of Sociology
This event is free to attend but registration is essential. Please register using the form below.
The deadline for submitting an abstract was Friday, 31st March 2021. Contributors will be notified by Friday, 16th April 2021.
This workshop will explore the latest evidence and best practice when it comes to understanding and responding to young people's contemporary digital cultures. Tackling so-called 'online harms' is an ongoing, yet fraught, issue among policy makers and practitioners. We know, however, that predominant narratives can be overly risk-averse and cautious, and can take a negative and reductionist approach to young people's digital lives. Evidence shows that young people find decontextualized warning messages about the dangers of technology and digital media uninspiring and disengaging.
The aim of this workshop is to take a youth-centred approach to examining the nature of the young people's digital lives, exploring both the nuances, complexities and socially-contingent nature of the risks and harms they face, and the opportunities, rewards and pleasures they perceive and experience online. The workshop will represent an opportunity for scholars to come together to critically interrogate the narratives around young people's use of digital media and to complicate some of the adult-centric assumptions that infuse the policy-making process and practice models. The workshop will also be attended by policy and practice stakeholders who are interested in thinking critically about young people's digital lives, and will provide an opportunity for attendees to explore and identify a theoretical, conceptual, empirical and practical agenda for understanding and responding to the challenges and opportunities of the digital era for young people. Following paper presentations and panel discussions, breakout sessions will provide attendees with an opportunity to discuss the application of academic debates and developments to policy and practice contexts.
Submitting a proposal for this workshop represents a valuable opportunity to contribute to the conversation around online harms and youth digital culture. The policy and practice field urgently requires a centralising of the youth voice and a critical interrogation of the assumptions and value systems that shape predominant narratives around the risks and harms that young people face and what constitutes effective education and intervention. We therefore welcome proposals from postgraduate, early career and more established scholars working either in the UK or other country contexts. Contributors are free to propose a single paper presentation or can join with others to suggest a panel discussion.
Topics include, but are not limited to:
Proposals may consider the local, national or international picture, and may be cross-cutting. Proposals can be theoretical, conceptual and/or empirical, but should endeavour to contextualise the issues in terms of broader social and cultural factors around young people's use of digital media, and should have relevance to policy and practice debates.