Internet and Youth Culture

4867 WordsJun 25, 201320 Pages
The Internet and Youth Culture Gustavo S. Mesch ince the internet and other media have been adopted and integrated into the daily lives of an increasing number of young adolescents in Western countries, scholars and commentators are debating the impact of these new media on the activities, social relationships, and worldviews of the younger generations. Controversies about whether technology shapes values, attitudes, and patterns of social behavior are not new. In the recent past, the rapid expansion of television stimulated similar discussions of its cultural and social effects. In this essay, I will briefly describe the sources of the debate and its specific arguments regarding the role of the internet in youth life. Then, I will…show more content…
Technology is an inherent part of society; it is created by social actors. According to a social construction of technology approach, it is important to note that social groups differ in the extent of their access to technology, their skills, and the meanings they associate with technology. The same technology can have different meanings for different social groups of users. Technologies can and do have a social impact, but they are simultaneously social products that embody power relationships and social goals Technologies can and do and structures.5 Thus technological changes are a process have a social impact, but and do not have a single direction. Understanding the place of the internet in the lives of they are simultaneously social young individuals requires avoiding a purely determinproducts that embody power istic interpretation and recognizing the social embeddedness of technology and its variable outcomes.6 The relationships and social goals internet can be constitutive of new cultural features of and structures. young social life, but it can also reproduce older conditions. A purely deterministic approach ignores the material conditions and the social environment within which, and through which, these technologies operate. Digital spaces such as social networking sites, weblogs
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