I’m wrapping up my RAship at the Simpson…

I’m wrapping up my RAship at the Simpson Center and have been going over my files for teacher development seminars that the Center sponsored this past year. One session in particular had an interesting syllabus and reading material that ties well with the social media aspect of our class.

Crispin Thurlow is a professor in the Communications School who conducts research on youth and social technology. Check out his article “Fabricating youth: New-media discourse and the technologization of young people” in Youth, Identity, and Digital Media (MIT Press, 2008) as supplemental reading for our social tech coursebooks. Crispin applies a scholarly analysis to constructions of youth (and therefore adulthood) through perceptions of social technology. Another good article by Thurlow is “Wired whizzes or techno slaves? Young people and their emergent communication technologies” which covers the range of social technologies discussed in Born Digital and talks about notions of risk.

There is also a good article by Susan Herring called “Questioning the General Divide: Technological Exoticism and Adult Constructions of Online Youth Identity” that examines the contextual factors and social motivations shaping human behaviors, continuities, and technological trends. Like Thurlow, Herring also addresses the exoticizing of the internet generation through constructions of youth.
Finally, my favorite reading from Thurlow’s syllabus is Danah Boyd’s article “Why Youth Heart Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life” – also from the MIT volume Youth, Identity, and Digital Media. Boyd’s article has a great theoretical discussion on the different meanings of public, types of publics (social networking sites), and some discussion on the implications of being socialized into a culture rooted in network publics.