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Mixing the Digital, Social, and Cultural: Learning, Identity, and Agency in Youth Participation

Image is illustrative. Digital Backyards. Flickr.com/andiweiland.

The aim of this paper is to understand how digital media are used in relation to what we shall call social and cultural technologies, those tools that organize social participation in particular settings. This publication provides insight on how youth use multiple forms of media and technology, in concert with their commitments to community dialogue and social justice, as they learn to be participants in civic and democratic practices.

The paper consists out of two case studies that revolve around youth–adult interactions in learning environments that offer youth real opportunities to be influential in their respective communities. Firstly a youth media production in the context of a community-based media arts project is examined, and secondly a scenario of how young people use technology in the course of their work as student representatives on their local school board is presented.