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Mediating the public/private boundary at home: children’s use of the internet for privacy and participation

Livingstone, Sonia ORCID: 0000-0002-3248-9862 (2005) Mediating the public/private boundary at home: children’s use of the internet for privacy and participation. Journal of Media Practice, 6 (1). pp. 41-51. ISSN 1468-2753

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Popular and academic discourse contains numerous claims regarding the role of the changing media environment in the privatization of public space or, conversely, in the extension of the public realm into the domestic. This article examines the changing public/private boundary for children, young people and their families as new forms of media, most recently, the Internet, enter and become established within the home. By looking more closely at the public/private boundary, three distinct processes are identified, one concerned with questions of interest and profit, one with participation and community and one with governance and privacy. Children’s experiences of the Internet are considered in relation to each of these, revealing their concerns for privacy, pleasure and peer-networking. The article analyses these processes in terms of the drivers of social change in order to better understand existing social tensions over the public/private boundary in relation to changing media and changing conditions of childhood.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: Published 2005 © Intellect Books. LSE has developed LSE Research Online so that users may access research output of the School. Copyright © and Moral Rights for the papers on this site are retained by the individual authors and/or other copyright owners. Users may download and/or print one copy of any article(s) in LSE Research Online to facilitate their private study or for non-commercial research. You may not engage in further distribution of the material or use it for any profit-making activities or any commercial gain. You may freely distribute the URL ( of the LSE Research Online website.
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2005
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 13:14

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