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Worried About the Wrong ThingsYouth, Risk, and Opportunity in the Digital World$
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Jacqueline Ryan Vickery

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036023

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036023.001.0001

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Introduction: A Generation at Risk?

Introduction: A Generation at Risk?

(p.1) Introduction: A Generation at Risk?
Worried About the Wrong Things

Jacqueline Ryan Vickery

The MIT Press

This chapter asks: how do expectations of youth, technology, and risk shape policies, practices, and lived experiences? Through an analysis of harm-driven and opportunity-driven expectations, the chapter outlines key concerns related to young people’s digital media practices; specifically the ways privileged understandings of risk create unequal opportunities for marginalized youth. It identifies three disconnections that lead to fear. First, young people’s lived experiences with media differ from sensational fear-driven media narratives and policies. Second, the ways young people value media differ from how adults value digital media. Third, harm-driven narratives focus too overtly on the role of technology in young people’s lives, rather than broader social changes. The chapter aims to shift conversations away from harm and toward opportunity.

Keywords:   Harm, Fears, Youth, Technology, Media, high school, education, teens, moral panics, inequality

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