Research Director and Principal Investigator at Project Zero, Co-Director of the Good Play Project and the Good Participation Project, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Disconnected: Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap
Young people are more connected to one another than ever before. Via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and a host of apps and other digital technologies, they can share photos, music, and moment-to- moment thoughts and ideas about their lives. They can also learn and exchange ideas about larger events in their own communities and in the wider world. Given these exciting affordances, it’s critical to examine how young people are thinking about their engagement with digital and social media. Further, the networked nature of online spaces – and the capacity to spread digital content quickly – suggest the importance of looking at how youth approach the moral and ethical dimensions of digital life.
In her recently published book,Disconnected: Youth, New Media and the Ethics Gap, Harvard sociologist Carrie James, Ph.D. explores how young people approach online dilemmas of privacy, property, and participation. How do youth think about their own privacy and that of others as they post photos and comments in networkedpublics? To what extent do they think about appropriation of digital content (music, text, video) with attention to its ethical implications? How do they respond to routine displays of disrespect and incivility that characterize dialogue in many online spaces? Based on qualitative research carried out as part of the Good Play Project, Disconnected is an account of how youth, and the adults in their lives, think about — and often don’t think about — the moral and ethical dimensions of these kinds of situations. In this talk, Dr. James will share key insights from the book and discuss ways to support more conscientious approaches to online life.