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New media, habitus and the problem of voice: The case of young men in Sweden
Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Center for Social Analysis (CESAM).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3070-4717
2012 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In enabling “ordinary people” to participate in the public sphere, new media are often celebrated as a democratizing force. And even if the projected egalitarian world of new media is yet to come, it is frequently believed to be an inevitable effect of the coming of age of the so-called “the digital generation”, who have grown up with these media and so have come to incorporate their democratic potentials.

This hyperbolic optimism about new media rests on a flawed technological determinism. We cannot presume that the possibility of online participation amounts to an actual process of democratization. Being able to make one’s voice heard is not the same as being listened to and acknowledged, nor is it the same as exercising this ability. Nevertheless, much debate and research on young people’s new media use has been implicitly based on this premise. Little attention has been paid to the structures, mechanisms and contexts that enable and constrain online participatory practices among young people.

As part of my ongoing PhD project this paper sets out to identify forms and patterns of online participation and non-participation among 34 Swedish boys (16-19 years) from different class backgrounds. Drawing on qualitative interview data and the conceptual tools of Pierre Bourdieu, it also tries to grasp some of the processes engendering these forms and patterns.

Preliminary analyses suggest that the sense of having “the right to speak” (or not) in different matters seems to shape whether, how, and where the boys participate online. This sense is rooted in habitus and as such in their different class backgrounds. The boys privileged in terms of capital tend to participate with greater ease insofar as they feel that their voice matters in most matters, whereas the disprivileged boys seem to feel that their voice matters in a more limited range of matters, most of them generally regarded as trivial.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012.
Keywords [en]
Young people, New media, Participation, Habitus, Social class
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-25035OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-25035DiVA, id: diva2:711846
Conference
New Media and the Public Sphere, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, 8-9 November, 2012
Available from: 2014-04-11 Created: 2014-04-11 Last updated: 2016-03-09Bibliographically approved

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Danielsson, Martin

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf