Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media Hardcover – Oct 30 2009
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"Finally a book that provides a deeply grounded and nuanced description of today's digital youth culture and practices as they negotiate their identity, their peer-based relationships, and their relationships with adults. Then, building on this rich and diverse set of ethnographies, the authors constructed a powerful analytic framework which provides new conceptual lenses to make sense of the emerging digital media landscape. This book is a must for anyone interested in youth culture, learning, and new media."--John Seely Brown, Former Chief Scientist, Xerox Corporation, and Former Director of Xerox PARC
"Through their meticulous ethnographic exploration of emerging media practices in everyday life, Mizuko Ito and her colleagues paint a vivid portrait of young people's diverse modes of participation with new media. Over and again, this thought-provoking book challenges adult preconceptions and traditional preoccupations, insisting that we recognize the values, concerns, and literacies of today's youth." --Sonia Livingstone, London School of Economics and Political Science(Sonia Livingstone)
"While the in-depth description of this framework would in itself value the time spent reading this book, there is much more in it. It is highly suggested reading to anyone interested to know more about kids' everyday informal learning practices with new media (especially teachers, parents, and policy-makers)." Fabio Giglietto Information, Communication and Society
About the Author
Mizuko Ito is a cultural anthropologist who studies new media use, particularly among young people, in Japan and the United States, and a Professor in Residence at the University of California Humanities Research Institute.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book's title is a memorable one, and comes from the author's desire to accurately capture the `three genres of participation' most relevant to young people and new media. The case studies quoted are highly descriptive, giving ample evidence to show how `young people's practices, learning, and identity formation' are intertwined and relational (31). The concept of `media ecology' is used to emphasize the interrelatedness of new media with more accepted structures of learning and cohabitation, such as schools and nuclear families. Their approach adds real value to way that media and technology is studied, showing that it is indelibly part of contemporary everyday life, where it exists on a continuum of high to low usage for both parents and teenagers. Though there is considerable focus on high-end users of technology (on the geekier-side of the scale), each study provides just as much information about young people who have little access to the internet and/or even mobile phones. As the book illustrates, teen attitudes towards internet and social media are ultimately framed by a combination of parental attitudes, peer expectations and personal interests.
A most engaging part of the book is the way in which case studies are tied into broader media and academic debates about media usage. This is particularly true of chapter 2, which examines the `hanging out' aspects of teen friendships through social networking sites like Facebook, Photobucket and Myspace. This chapter engages with the common perception that social networking sites expose teens to more dangerous forms of relationships with unfamiliar people. Hanging Out provides evidence to show how, as the majority of teens are aware of the risks, interviewees are much more interested in using new media to maintain existing offline relationships. Teens use social networking websites to organise friendships according to similar interests and values, meaning that applications like `Top Friends' on Myspace are well-suited to teenage obsessions with social status and popularity. Here the author's present a convincing account of teenage autonomy through which friendship is performed through websites, gadgets and widgets to extend school-based friendships, hierarchies and anxieties. Hanging Out is a brilliant resource not only for scholars interested in new research methods and findings about new media, but also for parents and teachers in understanding more about teenage patterns of media usage, technology and education.
A real strength in that respect is the breadth of different contexts from which insights are gleaned - from computer use for school projects in the home, networked relationships in remote school communities, to teens organising multiplayer online gaming events. There are plenty of situations that parents will identify with, just as many important points are made about different styles of parental and educational discipline. Such a cross section of multidisciplinary studies serves well to address the common misperception about `youth these days', and their supposedly mischievous, unruly use of technology - in the school classroom, at home and elsewhere. Above all, by showing that that `social participation and cultural identity' are central components of young people's learning experience (31), the book is a highly valuable contribution to both the media and educational scholarly fields.
The book has numerous case studies from which to glean information, although I will have to admit, the outcomes were fairly predictable. I didn't feel personally that I learned a lot. On the other hand, I have talked with a number of parents whom have read this book, and I do believe it helped them put social networking sites in a brighter spot. Parents always want to protect their children, but they also want them to develop as individuals, so there's a fine line in how their children's online time is spent. Children can get hurt using social networking sites but hopefully they can learn from their experiences. Since social media is still at a young phase, people are going to get better at managing themselves and what they post.
This book is an interesting view into this world.... a bit dry but pretty interesting so I was able to keep reading.
The first chapter is online free from the publisher here: [...]
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