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Youth, Moral Values and Digital Media: Methodological Challenges

Burcu Korkmazer UGent, Sander De Ridder UGent and Sofie Van Bauwel UGent (2018)
abstract
This paper introduces a research project exploring young people’s (14-18 year olds) moral values on ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ sexual reputations in the context of digital media and peer groups. Focusing on young people’s knowledge and normative ideas on reputation within ‘natural’ social contexts and everyday use of digital media, we will discuss two particular methodological challenges. First, this project needs to discuss sensitive research topics with young people in their naturally occurring social contexts. Second, while the project needs a relatively controlled research design to explore conflicting moral values on what young people perceive as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ sexual reputations in digital media contexts, we are actively seeking to empower young people and listen to their voices, rather than allowing the researcher to take too much control. There have been studies on young people’s online reputations from psychological and communication management perspectives. Usually, these are relying on quantitative research methodologies such as surveys and experiments. These studies do not seek to critically question young people’s power struggles to maintain ‘good’ sexual reputations in social media; they are rather advising young people on how to maintain or build good online reputations. This project is different from earlier research on this topic, particularly because of its qualitative research design that aims to provide in-depth insights into young people’s voices; situated within post-structuralist thinking, we seek to explore everyday power struggles to maintain ‘good’ sexual reputations related to young people’s diverse subject positions. The project’s methodology is building on research expertise within the fields of youth studies, feminist research and social sciences methodologies. Within youth studies, there is extensive experience in discussing and researching sensitive topics with young people through empowering them with their own voice (Sue, Rachel, Elizabeth, & Eleanor, 2009), while feminist research provides useful knowledge on the intersectionality of identity (Davis, 2008) to understand dynamics of exclusion and subordination, related to multiple identity experiences of sexuality, gender, ethnicity and religion. 2 We will discuss the identified methodological challenges in this presentation by showing how we are using an ethnographic participatory observation, combined with visual research methods (Sue, Rachel, Elizabeth, & Eleanor, 2009), to capture moments of actual lived experiences of young people, minimize the researchers’ own meanings and involvement, and allowing sensitive discussions and moral values to be discussed in social settings. We will show how we are being particularly innovative by incorporating visual research methods to research digital life-worlds; researchers are guiding participants through a carefully prepared creativity activity that will not only gather data for the research, but will also be a reflective learning moment for the participants involved. As society struggles with responding adequately to the ethical challenges that come along with young people’s digital media use, the need for new strategies regarding online intimacies is emerging. By focusing on young people’s agency and involvement, this project will contribute to the thinking on how young people’s sexual intimacies online can be improved ethically and safely.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
conference (meetingAbstract)
publication status
in press
subject
conference name
ECQI Conference 2018
conference organizer
KUL
conference location
Leuven
conference start
2018-02-07
conference end
2018-02-09
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
U
copyright statement
I don't know the status of the copyright for this publication
id
8561824
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-8561824
date created
2018-05-15 11:06:20
date last changed
2018-05-15 11:12:38
@inproceedings{8561824,
  abstract     = {This paper introduces a research project exploring young people{\textquoteright}s (14-18 year olds)
moral values on {\textquoteleft}good{\textquoteright} versus {\textquoteleft}bad{\textquoteright} sexual reputations in the context of digital media and peer
groups. Focusing on young people{\textquoteright}s knowledge and normative ideas on reputation within
{\textquoteleft}natural{\textquoteright} social contexts and everyday use of digital media, we will discuss two particular
methodological challenges. First, this project needs to discuss sensitive research topics with
young people in their naturally occurring social contexts. Second, while the project needs a
relatively controlled research design to explore conflicting moral values on what young people
perceive as {\textquoteleft}good{\textquoteright} or {\textquoteleft}bad{\textquoteright} sexual reputations in digital media contexts, we are actively seeking
to empower young people and listen to their voices, rather than allowing the researcher to
take too much control.
There have been studies on young people{\textquoteright}s online reputations from psychological and
communication management perspectives. Usually, these are relying on quantitative research methodologies such as
surveys and experiments. These studies do not seek to critically question young people{\textquoteright}s
power struggles to maintain {\textquoteleft}good{\textquoteright} sexual reputations in social media; they are rather advising
young people on how to maintain or build good online reputations.
This project is different from earlier research on this topic, particularly because of its
qualitative research design that aims to provide in-depth insights into young people{\textquoteright}s voices;
situated within post-structuralist thinking, we seek to explore everyday power struggles to
maintain {\textquoteleft}good{\textquoteright} sexual reputations related to young people{\textquoteright}s diverse subject positions.
The project{\textquoteright}s methodology is building on research expertise within the fields of youth studies,
feminist research and social sciences methodologies. Within youth studies, there is extensive
experience in discussing and researching sensitive topics with young people through
empowering them with their own voice (Sue, Rachel, Elizabeth, \& Eleanor, 2009), while
feminist research provides useful knowledge on the intersectionality of identity (Davis, 2008)
to understand dynamics of exclusion and subordination, related to multiple identity
experiences of sexuality, gender, ethnicity and religion. 
2
We will discuss the identified methodological challenges in this presentation by showing how
we are using an ethnographic participatory observation, combined with visual research
methods (Sue, Rachel, Elizabeth, \& Eleanor, 2009), to capture moments of actual lived
experiences of young people, minimize the researchers{\textquoteright} own meanings and involvement, and
allowing sensitive discussions and moral values to be discussed in social settings. We will show
how we are being particularly innovative by incorporating visual research methods to research
digital life-worlds; researchers are guiding participants through a carefully prepared creativity
activity that will not only gather data for the research, but will also be a reflective learning
moment for the participants involved.
As society struggles with responding adequately to the ethical challenges that come along with
young people{\textquoteright}s digital media use, the need for new strategies regarding online intimacies is
emerging. By focusing on young people{\textquoteright}s agency and involvement, this project will contribute
to the thinking on how young people{\textquoteright}s sexual intimacies online can be improved ethically and
safely. },
  author       = {Korkmazer, Burcu and De Ridder, Sander and Van Bauwel, Sofie},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Leuven},
  title        = {Youth, Moral Values and Digital Media: Methodological Challenges},
  year         = {2018},
}

Chicago
Korkmazer, Burcu, Sander De Ridder, and Sofie Van Bauwel. 2018. “Youth, Moral Values and Digital Media: Methodological Challenges.” In .
APA
Korkmazer, B., De Ridder, S., & Van Bauwel, S. (2018). Youth, Moral Values and Digital Media: Methodological Challenges. Presented at the ECQI Conference 2018.
Vancouver
1.
Korkmazer B, De Ridder S, Van Bauwel S. Youth, Moral Values and Digital Media: Methodological Challenges. 2018.
MLA
Korkmazer, Burcu, Sander De Ridder, and Sofie Van Bauwel. “Youth, Moral Values and Digital Media: Methodological Challenges.” 2018. Print.