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Reframing Current Debates on Young People's Online Privacy by Taking into Account the Cultural Construction of Youth

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Abstract
In public discussions regarding online privacy, young people are oftentimes portrayed as individuals who put themselves and others at risk with their naive and reckless online behavior. Recent scholarly work, however, debunked the myth that teenagers do not value privacy anymore by uncovering how they manage sensitive information in their everyday life. In this paper we argue that underlying assumptions of this scholarship still hinder our understanding of youth’s engagements with social media and privacy. First, researchers tend to reproduce an image of young people as ‘unfinished’. Second, studies fail to account for young people’s exposure to technopanic narratives. Finally, the scholarship is oftentimes grounded in a liberal idealization of privacy as something inherently desirable for young people. To critically reflect upon these assumptions, we suggest taking into account the cultural construction of youth. Specifically, we argue that youths’ experiences as “beings-in-the-present”, society’s anxieties about a digital future, and power dynamics might be essential elements that mediate young people’s engagements with social media, privacy, and society.
Keywords
Culture, Privacy, Social Media, Technopanic, Youth

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Chicago
De Leyn, Tom, Ralf De Wolf, Mariek Vanden Abeele, and Lieven De Marez. 2019. “Reframing Current Debates on Young People’s Online Privacy by Taking into Account the Cultural Construction of Youth.” In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Social Media and Society, 174–183. ACM.
APA
De Leyn, T., De Wolf, R., Vanden Abeele, M., & De Marez, L. (2019). Reframing Current Debates on Young People’s Online Privacy by Taking into Account the Cultural Construction of Youth. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Social Media and Society (pp. 174–183). Presented at the 10th International Conference on Social Media and Society (SMSociety  ’19), ACM.
Vancouver
1.
De Leyn T, De Wolf R, Vanden Abeele M, De Marez L. Reframing Current Debates on Young People’s Online Privacy by Taking into Account the Cultural Construction of Youth. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Social Media and Society. ACM; 2019. p. 174–83.
MLA
De Leyn, Tom et al. “Reframing Current Debates on Young People’s Online Privacy by Taking into Account the Cultural Construction of Youth.” Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Social Media and Society. ACM, 2019. 174–183. Print.
@inproceedings{8622088,
  abstract     = {In public discussions regarding online privacy, young people are oftentimes portrayed as individuals who put themselves and others at risk with their naive and reckless online behavior. Recent scholarly work, however, debunked the myth that teenagers do not value privacy anymore by uncovering how they manage sensitive information in their everyday life. In this paper we argue that underlying assumptions of this scholarship still hinder our understanding of youth’s engagements with social media and privacy. First, researchers tend to reproduce an image of young people as ‘unfinished’. Second, studies fail to account for young people’s exposure to technopanic narratives. Finally, the scholarship is oftentimes grounded in a liberal idealization of privacy as something inherently desirable for young people. To critically reflect upon these assumptions, we suggest taking into account the cultural construction of youth. Specifically, we argue that youths’ experiences as “beings-in-the-present”, society’s anxieties about a digital future, and power dynamics might be essential elements that mediate young people’s engagements with social media, privacy, and society.},
  author       = {De Leyn, Tom and De Wolf, Ralf and Vanden Abeele, Mariek and De Marez, Lieven},
  booktitle    = {Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Social Media and Society},
  isbn         = {978-1-4503-6651-9},
  keywords     = {Culture,Privacy,Social Media,Technopanic,Youth},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Toronto},
  pages        = {174--183},
  publisher    = {ACM},
  title        = {Reframing Current Debates on Young People's Online Privacy by Taking into Account the Cultural Construction of Youth},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/3328529.3328558},
  year         = {2019},
}

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