Young Cyborgs: Rituals of Resistance to Technology

Monday, 11 July 2016: 11:25
Location: Hörsaal II (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Kate TILLECZEK, Education and Sociology, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PE, Canada
Elliott ELLIOTT TILLECZEK, U of Toronto, Canada
This paper addresses modern youth and technology from over a decade of study into youth-machine mediated relationships. It provides selected results from a recent Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada funded project on Digital Media and Young Lives over Time that allowed for video interviewing, documentary film making and collection of digital data (facebook youtube, instagram, twitter, etc) from 95 Canadian young people and their “digital shadows” (close friends with whom they interact on line).  We report on ways of being on-line and how they have influenced the mediated social lives of Canadian youth. Material gadgets and symbolic spaces used and resisted provide profound illustrations of what modern technology means for youth. The paper reports on what young people are doing on-line and how these doings command ritualized acts of resistance. Unlike the work of other current commentators (for example, boyd’s  Its complicated: The social lives of networked teens) who insist on complacency and/or hysteria, this work provides critical sociological analyses with and by youth. A rendering of supermodernity sets the context for excess and resistance that both interrupt and interrogate the present; one deeply held by the purveyors of technology. Young people illustrate their lives and interrogate gains and losses from their embedded positions. With the generous assistance of one such young cyborg (my son) in the presentation of this paper, we attempt a youth-attuned, visual and photographic rendering of rituals of resistance of Canadian youth.