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Möjligheternas arena?: Barns och ungas samtal om tjejer, killar, känslor och sexualitet på en virtuell arena
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2008 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Arenas of Possibilities? : Children’s and Young People’s conversations about Girls, Boys, Emotions and Sexuality on a Virtual arena (English)
Abstract [en]

Computer mediated communication (CMC) has created new arenas for social interaction in contemporary society, also for children and young people. This raises questions about how these arenas are used by children and young people. Drawing on the sociology of childhood, this thesis addresses children’s social interaction on a website designed for young people, where issues of masculinity, femininity, emotions and sexuality are discussed. The general aim is to explore the construction of meaning in relation to these issues; more specifically patterns of online interaction and the ways children express and share ideas and values in the “now” of the interpretive communities on the website, and at the same time deal with ideas, norms and values mediated through society at large.

In three discussion groups on the website, 143 discussions initiated by virtual children aged 12 to 15 followed by discussions with several virtual persons at the same age and older were collected and analysed. Three patterns of interaction were identified according to the degrees of ‘horizontal’ versus ‘vertical’ communication: ‘Playful interaction’ is characterised by a horizontal communication where curiosity and experiences are shared between virtual children in the same age ‘Corrective interaction’ is characterised by vertical interaction and more explicit advise and instructions from participants in different ages, drawing on arguments from the ‘adult world’. In ‘Orienting interaction’ there are aspects of both horizontal and vertical interaction as older or adult virtual participants express their points of view and experiences as it were to strive for a shared understanding. These patterns of interaction, and the ways they are related to the different topics in the discussion groups, are discussed in terms of the on-going positioning of children as a ‘social group’ and the construction of gender, generation and cultural notions of children as innocent or knowing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Pedagogiska institutionen , 2008. , 174 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar från Pedagogiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 1104-1625 ; 148
Keyword [en]
Children, Gender, Generation, Internet, Social interaction, Young people
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7678ISBN: 978-91-7155-675-2OAI: diva2:198818
Public defence
2008-06-05, de Geersalen, Arrheniuslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 8A, Stockholm, 13:00
Available from: 2008-05-14 Created: 2008-05-14Bibliographically approved

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