Young Cyborgs? Youth and the Digital Age

Monday, 11 July 2016: 10:45
Location: Hörsaal II (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Kate TILLECZEK, Education and Sociology, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PE, Canada
Most literature relating to youth and technology is devoid of nuanced or critical theory. The majority of scholarship is related to the use of digital media, the trends in growth of use, and/or the ways in which technology will liberate and save youth and education. We find this work inaccurate and inadequate in understanding the range of meanings and impacts of technology on young lives over time. This paper examines interdisciplinary theoretical understandings of technology and its influence on young lives. We briefly examine global use and trends, then examine the meanings of these trends and provide an analysis. We ask: What does the current digital technological project look like?  How does it actually matter to modern youth? We provide theoretical and methodological direction to illuminate the deeply dichotomized and paradoxical understandings of youth in the digital age. We interrogate dismissive and/or utopian adult, business, marketing and state-centric responses to youth and digital technology that claim its necessity and desirability for youth. We do so within the confines of empirical work with youth and in the contexts of social, economic and political phenomena that comprise technology’s place in young lives.