Children's use of the internet : reflections on the emerging research agenda.
New Media and Society, 5
As domestic access to the internet reaches the mass market in industrialized countries, this article identifies and evaluates the emerging research agenda, focusing particularly on children and young people. The nature of children's internet use generates public anxieties which both guide and undermine research, complicating the already challenging study of children within the privacy of the home. The body of empirical work reviewed is still small, but already key questions of academic and policy significance are being addressed regarding the opportunities and dangers of internet use. Such opportunities include communication, identity and participation, and education, learning and literacy; dangers arising from exclusion and the digital divide, and from certain kinds of use relating to inappropriate or undesirable contact, content and commercialism. In each of these domains, research strengths and gaps for future research are identified. The article concludes by noting areas of theoretical consensus and uncertainty framing the research agenda in this field.
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