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chapterposted on 2023-02-15, 23:05 authored by A Third, P Collin, L Walsh, Ros BlackRos Black
In this book’s discussion of young people’s encounters with the digital, we, the authors, speak as and primarily with those who identify or are interpolated as adults; subjects whose sense-making, like that of Mr. Deane, is always already structured by our discursive positioning in linear time as ‘no longer young’. We choose to address adults not because we consider conversations with young people unimportant. To the contrary, we will argue throughout this book that intergenerational dialogue is crucial to navigating the challenges that confront us. Nor, in addressing our audience, is our invocation of the first-person plural (‘we’) intended to gloss the differences that shape diverse groups’ and individuals’ conceptualizations of, access to and use of technology. Rather, the desire is to assert a heterogeneous ‘we’ that nonetheless shares the experience of ‘being adult’—or, at least, of being no longer young—and, generationally speaking, enjoys the privilege of the unmarked case (Livingstone and Third 2017, 661). Acknowledging this, the book draws upon the attitudes, experiences and feelings of a diverse range of young people, who played a central role in the research that is elaborated here. This is deliberate, because adult ways of being have dominated, for too long, how young people and the digital are configured in mainstream debates. We contend that alternative ways of thinking and doing are urgently demanded, and that young people’s insights and experiences are a powerful and necessary resource for such a reorientation.