Children’s Internet Culture

Power, change and vulnerability in twenty-first century childhood

Authored by: Sonia Livingstone

The Routledge International Handbook of Children, Adolescents and Media

Print publication date:  May  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415783682
eBook ISBN: 9780203366981
Adobe ISBN: 9781134060559


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The early twenty-first century witnessed the emergence of a new form of children’s culture. Children’s internet culture is, in one sense, a form of children’s media culture like any other, yet it now intersects all dimensions of childhood, at least in developed countries. In recent years, children’s homes, timetables, relationships, education and entertainment have been rearranged such that everyday activities are conducted on and through the internet. While, traditionally, children were expected to accommodate to adult cultural norms, in relation to the internet they are celebrated for their pioneering exploration – sanctioned or otherwise – of the unfolding digital opportunities for identity, sociality, learning and participation. However, the highly combustible mix of rapid change, youthful experimentation and technological complexity has reignited the moral panics that typically accompany media change, amplifying public uncertainty, parental anxiety and policy attention to the risks accompanying children’s internet use.

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