youth spaces

danah boyd said something in her panel presentation the other day that’s stuck with me, and I thought I’d post it here before I forget.  In talking about social network sites like Facebook and MySpace, danah called them a public space to which youth actually *have* access to, as opposed to other aspects of public life where youth have been marginalized for years.  I’d never heard it framed that way, and I thought it was a really interesting point.  According to danah, online spaces like MySpace provide public spaces where youth actually have some control (to the extent that the coders/software permits, anyway) – which also provides some measure of motivation and ownership. 

Where this becomes worrisome I think, is when I hear administrators at universities talk about ways to harness Facebook, to tap into some of that enthusiastic participation.  Kinda makes me cringe.

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One response to “youth spaces

  1. Yeah, I like this point of danah’s as well — the corner soda shop, mall (to a certain extent) and street corner or park are often off limits for too many kids or after a certain hour. Online spaces give students a place to congregate, but I am not sure they replace them. The Barnes and Noble in my town is filled on Friday and Saturday nights, for example, with so many teens that they had to get a special security detail.

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