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Eek-Karlsson, Liselotte
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Publications (10 of 18) Show all publications
Eek-Karlsson, L. (2019). Between responsibility and positioning – a study about young people’s interactions in social media. Young - Nordic Journal of Youth Research, 27(1), 1-17
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Between responsibility and positioning – a study about young people’s interactions in social media
2019 (English)In: Young - Nordic Journal of Youth Research, ISSN 1103-3088, E-ISSN 1741-3222, Vol. 27, no 1, p. 1-17Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines young people’s argumentation about their communication in social media. The purpose is to uncover what is taken for granted in their experiences and illuminate discursive patterns in their representation of everyday life online. 32 youths (14-15 years old) were interviewed. The result shows that there are three discourses involved that in different ways condition the youths’ acting space online. The discourses are called ‘taking responsibility’, ‘saving face’ and ‘social positioning’. There is a struggle between the discourses and they take on different power positions depending on the relation between three parameters: with whom the interaction takes place, the content that is to be published and the online characteristics. The discourse ‘taking responsibility’ is superior in interactions with close friends, unlike interactions with peripheral friends, where ‘social positioning’ is superior. The discourse ‘saving face’ is found in interactions with both close and peripheral friends.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2019
Keywords
Youth, social media, discursive patterns, taking responsibility, saving face, social positioning, communicative act, strategic acts
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-72020 (URN)10.1177/1103308818761413 (DOI)000452286900001 ()
Available from: 2018-03-29 Created: 2018-03-29 Last updated: 2019-01-18Bibliographically approved
Eek-Karlsson, L. (2018). The importance of belonging – a study of young people’s online communication in a Swedish context: -. In: Presented at AERA 2018: -. Paper presented at AERA-konferens (American Educational Research Association) i New York den 13-17 april 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The importance of belonging – a study of young people’s online communication in a Swedish context: -
2018 (English)In: Presented at AERA 2018: -, 2018Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The aim of the study presented in this session is to deepen the knowledge about young peoples’ communication in social media by focusing on positioning processes in their online interactions. Online communication has become an important arena constituting everyday practice for young people. Smart phones and mobile Internet have been of great importance for the development of interactions in social media. For example, in a survey conducted by Swedish Media Council[1] 2017, 75 percent of 12-15 year old Swedish students are found to be daily users (ibid). An American survey from 2015 reports that 88 % of American teenagers have access to smartphones and 90 % of these exchange texts. A typical American teen sends and receives 30 texts per day (Pew Research Center[2], 2017). This technology gives young people many possibilities to interact beyond time and space. Online spaces can from this perspective be regarded as more equal than offline spaces. Irrespective of background, people can be brought together around mutual interests (boyd and Ellison, 2008).

But, for many young people adolescence is a time of turbulence, in which establishing social affiliations is an important element. Struggles about power, about popularity and status are key aspects, which include both inclusive and exclusive processes. Context-bounded expectations to act according to social norms are developed both in the class and in school as a whole, which follow into online interactions. A lot of examples of both possibilities and restrictions for being a young person, a girl or a boy, become visible online (boyd, 2008; Davis, 2012; Vallor, 2012). Certain identities are placed in the center while others are marginalized and by the youths’ acts both normality and deviation are constructed (Kumashiro, 2002).

The students in this study are not categorized as solely boys or girls. Behind the gender category there are other categories that affect their position in thepeer group and the power to act, both offline and online. The endeavor is to uncover the relation between the students’ multiple identities and their acting space online. From the students’ point of view, this study asks the question:

-          In what ways are the students’ acting spaces online affected by their position in the peer group?

Theoretical framework

In this study, focus is put on positioning processes highlighted in the students’ argumentation about their online interactions. The students actively use language to interpret the world, both offline and online, and depending on how language is used different discourses are developed in the social practice. (Foucault, 1972; Chouliaraki and Fairclough, 1999). There is a relation between discourses and power, and with the concept ‘regime of truth’ Foucault (1972) points out that power is created and embodied by discourses and in this way the discourses are allowed to rule the understanding of the world (ibid). It can also be verbalized as the world is interpreted through the discursive patterns the students are exposed to. In this way, discourses condition both the constitution of the subject and the structures in society as a whole. Structures exert power and contribute to keep the social practice in order (Foucault, 1972; Chouliaraki and Fairclough, 1999). By their acts ‘normality’ is constructed and according to Kumashiro (2002) otherness and deviation are known and maintained only by inference, often in contrast to the norm (ibid). This is a question of inclusion and exclusion, leading to both inequality and social stratification. Normalization processes concerns how certain identities become naturalized while others are unthinkable, for example on the basis of gender, sexual orientation or disability. Instead of looking at power relations as dichotomous and binary in which different groups appear as antagonistic, this study has an intersectional point of departure (Crenshaw, 1995; Foucault, 1972; Kumashiro, 2002).

Data material and analysis process

The empirical data is based on observations and interviews and are collected in two classes in two separated schools situated in a medium–sized city in Sweden. In one class 12 youths (4 boys and 8 girls) of 23 from Grade 8 (15 years) participated. In the other class 20 youths of 24 (9 boys and 11 girls) from Grade 7 participated. Altogether there were 13 boys and 19 girls taking part in the study. Before the interviews I attended each class as an observer for approximately 40 hours in order to get to know the students as individuals, but also to get an insight into their reciprocal friendships. The majority of interviews were designed in pairs, and the time for all interviews totaled 12 hours and 38 minutes. The interviews were semi-structured, which means that a list of questions and topics were constructed that had to be covered during the interviews (Bryman, 2016).  The endeavor was to give the students a voice by letting them, as freely as possible, describe their experiences of interacting in social media. My task, as a researcher, was to ask follow-up questions when needed to get a deeper understanding. All interviews were recorded and transcribed.

A hermeneutic interpretation process formed the basis for the analysis process. The analysis began with a reading of the empirical data to get an overall understanding. Thereafter the data was thematized based on patterns found by reading through all the text several times. By connecting theoretical perspectives to the data, the understanding of themes and patterns deepened (Lindseth and Norberg, 2004).

Results

This study shed light on inequalities in students’ acting spaces online, contributing with perspectives of positioning processes in young people’s everyday lives. The results show that the online arena works as a leisure center for most of the students. There are social norms and rules connected to the online arena, irrespective who you are, which are important to be familiar with. But, there are also normative expectations, connected to different social categories in the peer group, which also affect the acting space online. Both aspects are central in order to be successful in the peer group.

On one hand all students in this study are constructed as part of the same category. They are young people in Grade 7 or 8 interacting in social media, but on the other hand they also are constructed in different ways in the same category. The students belong to different peer groups in school and their social identities are constructed in relation to how they identify themselves as a member or not a member of these groups. There are normative expectations depending on group membership, for example what kinds of photos that can be published without risking being insulted online. ‘Horse girls’ publish photos when they jump with their horses and ‘skate boarders’ publish nice moves when they skate. These students do not publish photos exhibiting their body.  Some students are regarded as ‘geeks’ with weak social affiliations and they are closed out from social media. Being online is dangerous for them. No one will protect them if someone is mean.  

Gender is another aspect that affects the students’ acting space online. To be an appropriate boy or girl that is accepted and respected by peers, it is important to act in accordance with the prevailing order in the specific context, but also according to the general expectations in society. It appears that successful boys are controlled, and they are acting online in accordance with appropriate masculinity. Mostly, the boys are ‘doers’; they publish photos where they act in contrast to girls who publish photos objectifying their body. Related to the hierarchical order between men and women boys and girls have different access to each other’s acting space. It is easier for girls to use the boys’ acting space, for example publishing photos when they are acting. The opposite condition prevails for most of the boys. There is a danger for boys publishing photos where they are exposing their body, since there is a great risk of being insulted.

At the same time as there is a struggle about power related to gender and group membership, processes are also taking place, that derive from other positioning processes, in this case sexuality. It appears that it is very shameful for the boys to be looked upon as a faggot. ‘Doing’ masculinity does not relate to being homosexual. This means that boys who actively use markers to show their hetero-normativity and masculinity are more likely to be marked as real men/boys. It can also be expressed as this kind of intertwining between sexuality and gender gains hegemony in the peer group (and in society), which comes with less risk of being insulted online. Thus, this intertwining is loaded with sufficient power to guard normality in the peer group. In contrast to boys, girls in general do not need to prove their hetero-normativity in their online interactions. Instead, they need to be aware of the prevailing view upon girls’/women’s sexuality. This opinion is common in the girls’ statements in this study. They use the word ‘slut’ when they describe some girls in school and what kind of photos they publish (photos where they exhibit their body). These girls risk to get negative comments.  

But, the analysis also shows that some positions in the peer group are loaded with adequate power and possibility to challenge the intertwining between gender and sexuality. The more status the more power to challenge normative boundaries. Some girls in school are popular, especially among boys, and they have the power to act in a norm-breaching way without risking being insulted online. If a girl publishes provocative photos without being abused, the power to act online is reinforced. On the contrary, these girls get positive comments and even higher status. Some peer groups’ positions among boys are also loaded with power and can challenge the prevailing order of how to be a proper boy/man without risking being called a faggot. These boys can publish female-coded photos, such as objectifying their bodies, without being abused.

To conclude, the processes of belonging are complex, dynamic, and power-loaded phenomena. The students act from their social position, in terms of expectation based on their position in their peer group and fear of reprisals. The intersection between gender, sexuality, group membership and status between groups give the students different positions to act online. There is an ongoing and constant negotiation in which the students have lots of reference points to take into account in order to be an appropriate and accepted young person.

References

boyd, danah. (2008). Why Student Heart Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life. In David Buckingham (Ed.) Student, Identity, and Digital Media. Cambridge, Mass,: MIT Press.

boyd, danah m. and Ellison, B. Nicole. (2008). Social Network Sites: Definition, History and Scholarship. Journal of Computer–Mediated Communication, 13: 210–230.

Bryman, Alan. (2016). Social Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chouliaraki, Lilie and Fairclough, Norman. (1999). Discourse in Late Modernity. Rethinking Critical Discourse Analysis. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Crenshaw, Kimberlé. (1995). Critical race theory. The key writings that formed the movement. New York: New York Press. 

Davis, Katie. (2012). Friendship 2.0: Adolescents’ experiences of belonging and self-disclosure online. Journal of Adolescence. 35: 1527–1536.

Foucault, Michel. (1972). The archaeology of knowledge. London: Penguin.

Kumashiro, Kevin. (2002). Troubling Education. Queer Activism and Antioppressive Pedagogy. New York: RoutledgeFalmer.

Lindseth, Anders and Norberg, Astrid. (2004). A phenomenological hermeneutical method for researching lived experience. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 18(2): 145-153.

Pew Research Center. (2017). Teens, Social Media and Technology Overview 2015.

http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/09/teens-social-media-technology-2015/ [2017-11-02].

Statens Medieråd. (2017). Ungar and Medier 2017. Stockholm: Kulturdepartementet. [Swedish Media Council. Children and Media 2017. Stockholm: Ministry of Culture].

Vallor, Shannon. (2012). Flourishing on Facebook: virtue friendship and new social media. Ethics and Information Technology, 14(3): 185–199.

 

 

 

[1] Swedish Media Council is a knowledge center that investigates the media habits of children and youth. They conduct yearly studies on youths’ experiences and attitudes toward the use of different media (Statens Medieråd, 2017).

[2] Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank based in Washington (Pew Research Center , 2017)

National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences, Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-71798 (URN)
Conference
AERA-konferens (American Educational Research Association) i New York den 13-17 april 2018
Available from: 2018-03-26 Created: 2018-03-26 Last updated: 2018-03-27
Eek-Karlsson, L. (2016). Discursive patterns in young people’s argumentation about their interaction in social media. In: Abstract book. Social Justice, Equality and Solidarity in Education. NERA 2016, 44th Congress of the Nordic Educational Research Association, Helsinki, 9-11 March, 2016: . Paper presented at NERA 2016, 44th Congress of the Nordic Educational Research Association, Helsinki, 9-11 March, 2016.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Discursive patterns in young people’s argumentation about their interaction in social media
2016 (English)In: Abstract book. Social Justice, Equality and Solidarity in Education. NERA 2016, 44th Congress of the Nordic Educational Research Association, Helsinki, 9-11 March, 2016, 2016Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The growing online communication that takes place between young people today causes concern. The purpose of this study, which is a part of my thesis, is to develop in – depth knowledge of the interaction that young people engage in online. The pedagogic interest is based on an investigation of conditions for social learning and social integration that exist in practice, which unfolds in virtual spaces created by social media. The theoretical point of departure is based on a pedagogic theory, which proposes that people develop their ability to cooperate, their social identity, and their understanding of the world through interaction with others. This study is conducted for the purpose of revealing discursive patterns in young people’s argumentation, based on a series of interviews of 32 respondents, aged 14-15 years old. The result shows that in young people’s online interaction, there are pendulum–like alternations between their desire for attention and their sense of vulnerability. The enjoyment ofa safe and secure social membership is of great importance and thesocial practice that develops in their interaction with their closest friends is characterized by certain qualities.Reciprocity andrespect are overarching values in these relationships. In interactions with friends who are not members ofa close inner circle, asymmetry and control are meaningful elements. Young people are sensitive to this, discern such differences, and act in goal–directed ways with the aimof benefiting their own interests. The result also shows that strong disciplinary forces also are present. Construction of gender is one aspect of this discipline, but it’s also conditioned by group membership and the status that it associated with that membership. The danger of reprisals increases if the norm system is violated. Young people are engaged in a balancing act between ideal behaviour and the risk of being offended. They act according to their social position and the expectations associated with sucha social position.

Keywords
social media, discursive patterns, responsibility, vulnerability, social hierarchies
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-51657 (URN)
Conference
NERA 2016, 44th Congress of the Nordic Educational Research Association, Helsinki, 9-11 March, 2016
Available from: 2016-03-31 Created: 2016-03-31 Last updated: 2016-04-26Bibliographically approved
Eek-Karlsson, L. (2016). Ungas samspel online. Stockholm: Skolverket
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ungas samspel online
2016 (Swedish)Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Place, publisher, year, pages
Stockholm: Skolverket, 2016. p. 10
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences, Pedagogics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-61403 (URN)
Available from: 2017-03-16 Created: 2017-03-16 Last updated: 2017-03-17Bibliographically approved
Eek-Karlsson, L. (2015). Ungas samspel i sociala medier: Att balansera mellan ansvar och positionering. (Doctoral dissertation). Växjö: Linnaeus University Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ungas samspel i sociala medier: Att balansera mellan ansvar och positionering
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The growing communication that takes place between young people today causes concern. The purpose of this study is to develop in – depth knowledge of the interaction that young people engage in online. The pedagogic interest is based on an investigation of conditions for social learning and social integration that exist in practice, which unfolds in virtual spaces created by social media. The technology referred to in this thesis is considered to be a social construction, which entails that values circulate between people, technology, and society. The theoretical point of departure is based on a pedagogic theory, which proposes that people develop their ability to cooperate, their social identity, and their understanding of the world through interaction with others. This dissertation includes three studies. The first study investigates support and harassment online (for example, insults). The second study is conducted for the purpose of revealing the discursive patterns in young people’s argumentation, based on a series of interviews. Finally, a text analysis of Facebook’s policy document was performed, with focus on the democratic values that are mediated via this document. The overall result is that considerably more young people feel that they are supported in social media, than those who are harassed. Both a supportive culture and a harassing culture can be defined however. The more often young people support their friends, the more often they find themselves to be the recipient of support. The same relationship pertains for harassing communication. Reciprocity, respect, and being responsible are dominant themes in a close circle of friends. In interaction with friends who are not members of the close circle of friends, communication is characterised by asymmetry and control. The imposition of discipline takes place as a function of both gender and status. The risk of being subject to reprisals is great, if the prevailing system of norms is violated. Young people’s social interaction in virtual spaces tends to be dominated by marketization where strategic behaviour, which primarily is a function of the individual’s social position and profit interest, is observed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2015. p. 194
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 228
Keywords
young people, social media, social values, responsibility, social position, discursive patterns, ungdomar, sociala medier, socialt värde, ansvar, social positionering, diskursiva mönster
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences, Pedagogics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-46696 (URN)978-91-87925-78-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-10-30, Storken sal V159, Stagneliusgatan 14, Kalmar, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-10-20 Created: 2015-10-09 Last updated: 2016-01-27Bibliographically approved
Elmeroth, E. & Eek-Karlsson, L. (2012). Ett normkritiskt perspektiv (1:1ed.). In: Elisabeth Elmeroth (Ed.), Normkritiska perspektiv - i skolans likabehandlingsarbete: (pp. 121-135). Lund: Studentlitteratur AB
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ett normkritiskt perspektiv
2012 (Swedish)In: Normkritiska perspektiv - i skolans likabehandlingsarbete / [ed] Elisabeth Elmeroth, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2012, 1:1, p. 121-135Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2012 Edition: 1:1
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-18178 (URN)978-91-44-07945-5 (ISBN)
Available from: 2012-04-01 Created: 2012-04-01 Last updated: 2019-01-28Bibliographically approved
Eek-Karlsson, L. (2012). Förgivettaganden och utmaningar (1ed.). In: Elisabeth Elmeroth (Ed.), Normkritiska perspektiv - i skolans likabehandlingsarbete: (pp. 11-28). Lund: Studentlitteratur AB
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Förgivettaganden och utmaningar
2012 (Swedish)In: Normkritiska perspektiv - i skolans likabehandlingsarbete / [ed] Elisabeth Elmeroth, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2012, 1, p. 11-28Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2012 Edition: 1
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-23398 (URN)978-91-44-07945-5 (ISBN)
Available from: 2013-01-10 Created: 2013-01-10 Last updated: 2019-01-28Bibliographically approved
Eek-Karlsson, L. (2012). Social media: A greenhouse for ethical and moral growth. In: ECER 2012, The need for educational research to champion Freedom, Education and Developmen for all: Network: 27. Didactics - Learning and Teaching. Paper presented at ECER 2012, 17-21 September, Cáciz.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social media: A greenhouse for ethical and moral growth
2012 (English)In: ECER 2012, The need for educational research to champion Freedom, Education and Developmen for all: Network: 27. Didactics - Learning and Teaching, 2012Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences, Pedagogics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-44251 (URN)
Conference
ECER 2012, 17-21 September, Cáciz
Available from: 2015-06-15 Created: 2015-06-15 Last updated: 2015-06-15Bibliographically approved
Eek-Karlsson, L. & Olsson, R. (2011). Relations go Web 2.0. . In: : . Paper presented at Paper presenterat i ett symposium tillsammans med Luleå tekniska universitet. NERA/NFPF 39th congress Rights and Education 10-12 mars Jyväskylä 2011..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Relations go Web 2.0.
2011 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences, Pedagogics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-44248 (URN)
Conference
Paper presenterat i ett symposium tillsammans med Luleå tekniska universitet. NERA/NFPF 39th congress Rights and Education 10-12 mars Jyväskylä 2011.
Available from: 2015-06-15 Created: 2015-06-15 Last updated: 2015-06-15Bibliographically approved
Eek-Karlsson, L. & Olsson, R. (2010). Ethics and Morality in the digital arena. In: : . Paper presented at Paper presenterat vid NERA/NFPF 38th congress Active Citizenship Malmö 11-13 mars 2010.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ethics and Morality in the digital arena
2010 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences, Pedagogics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-44247 (URN)
Conference
Paper presenterat vid NERA/NFPF 38th congress Active Citizenship Malmö 11-13 mars 2010
Available from: 2015-06-15 Created: 2015-06-15 Last updated: 2015-06-15Bibliographically approved
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