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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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Historical Fears: Teens, Technology, and Anxiety

Historical Fears: Teens, Technology, and Anxiety

(p.29) 1 Historical Fears: Teens, Technology, and Anxiety
Worried About the Wrong Things

Jacqueline Ryan Vickery

The MIT Press

This chapter considers the current moments of moral panic about technology from an historical context and argues that fears are not really about technology, but are driven by broader social changes. New technology and media often cause adults anxiety and are difficult to regulate; social and mobile media are no different. Looking back to youth in the 1920s America, this chapter demonstrates how changes in the role of the family and peer groups lead to social anxieties then and now. Through a discussion of networked publics, the chapter addresses teens’ desires to participate in society in visible ways that offer both risks and opportunities.

Keywords:   social changes, teens, peers, friends, social media, generation gap, networks, 1920s, youth at risk, family, moral panics

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