Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Series Foreword

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pp. vii-viii

In recent years, digital media and networks have become embedded in our everyday lives and are part of broad-based changes to how we engage in knowledge production, communication, and creative expression. Unlike the early years in the development of computers and computer-based media, digital media are now commonplace and pervasive, having been taken up by a wide range of individuals and institutions in all walks of life. Digital media have escaped the boundaries of professional and formal practices and the academic, governmental, and industry homes that initially...

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1 Introduction

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pp. 1-16

For decades, parents, schools, and legislators have attempted to balance the potentials of new personal computer and networking technologies with the risks that they pose to young people. Somewhere amid the pornography, sexual predators, and cyberbullies, a new technological sphere of childhood development has emerged, providing users with unprecedented access to information, tools of creativity, and diverse social networks. Today, discussions of youth and technology invariably mention both the bright potentials and dark horrors of online life, outlining an urgent need for security...

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2 Predators and Proposals: Doing Research on Youth and Technology

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pp. 17-36

Throughout this book, youth Internet safety appears as a site of contested production (Brown 2005). Legislative and media accounts of young people’s online activities variously align and conflict with one another. At Internet safety presentations, law enforcement agents and curricula developers destabilize the situated knowledges of parents by asking them, “What is your child doing online?” Young people and their parents argue over who better interprets youth social interactions online. And because they are embroiled in dramatic performance, young people struggle to maintain...

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3 Figuring Youth and the Internet: Media and Legislative Narratives of Youth Internet Safety

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pp. 37-68

Since the early 1980s, generations of youth have had access to information technologies, and prevalent media and legislative discourses have taken as their object the protection of children as they play, communicate, and work online. As Douglas Thomas (1998, 386) asks, “If the goal of law enforcement is to ‘protect’ us from high tech hoodlums, as is so often claimed, the question remains: what is it that is being ‘protected’? And what does it mean to be ‘protected’? What are the ‘positive effects’ of protection?” In the case of Internet safety, legislative and media discourses have considered...

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4 Pedagogies of Surveillance

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pp. 69-90

In a statement that could be referencing inappropriate Internet use by young people (rather than masturbation), Michel Foucault (1978, 42) states:

Wherever there was the chance [that pleasures] might appear, devices of surveillance were installed; traps were laid for compelling admissions; inexhaustible and corrective discourses were imposed; parents and teachers were alerted, and left with the suspicion that all children were guilty, and with the fear of being themselves at fault if their suspicions were not sufficiently strong; they were kept in readiness in the face of this recurrent danger; their conduct was prescribed and their pedagogy...

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5 Cyberbullies and Cybercitizens

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pp. 91-118

In this chapter, I examine the youth Internet safety curricula and concepts provided to youth themselves. As Allison James, Chris Jenks, and Alan Prout (1998, 41–42) describe:

Curricula … are more than the description of content. They are spatial theories of cognitive and bodily development and, as such, they contain world-views which are never accidental and are certainly not arbitrary. They involve selections, choices, rules and conventions, all of which relate to questions of power, issues of personal identity and philosophies of human nature and potential, all of which are focused...

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6 Parents, Nonparents, and School Administrators

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pp. 119-148

As is shown in the previous chapters, parents and other adults who are charged with protecting youth online have been variously positioned—as overwhelmed by a ceaseless barrage of obscene content and shadowy predators, as left behind by neurologically flexible and technically adept children, and, properly trained, as the trusted enforcers of the online world. Because parents and school administrators are vested in the authority of the family and the school, they are key agents in the larger apparatus of youth Internet safety. However, as media, legislative, and curricular representatives...

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7 “IT’S ALL COMMON SENSE!”: Kids, Drama, and Internet Safety

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pp. 149-182

In this chapter, I move to “the ground” of youth Internet safety discourses and examine the practices and discourses of children, tweens, and teenagers. The chapter is organized along the lines of youth Internet safety discourse, based largely on my experiences as a presenter at numerous Internet safety events. These presentations (like the one provided to adults in chapter 3) always begin with less troubling material—concerns about young people’s technical expertise and brief discussions of their everyday lives and the technologies that support them. After providing this...

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8 Conclusion

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pp. 183-196

There is something slightly hypocritical about adults’ reactions when young people post content that adults simply “don’t want to see.” After all, generations of young people have had opportunities to “party it up” or “be a teenager” in their own private spaces. These opportunities have been decreasing as visibility increases through online social networks and as children and teenagers incorporate social networks into their everyday lives. It becomes a question of determining the extent to which we allow space for “just being a teenager” or “partying it up.” What kinds of citizens might be...

References

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pp. 197-218

Index

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pp. 219-223