Internet and Youth Culture Essay

4863 Words Jul 1st, 2013 20 Pages
The Internet and Youth Culture
Gustavo S. Mesch

ince the internet and other media have been adopted and integrated into the daily lives of an increasing number of young adolescents in Western countries, scholars and commentators are debating the impact of these new media on the activities, social relationships, and worldviews of the younger generations. Controversies about whether technology shapes values, attitudes, and patterns of social behavior are not new. In the recent past, the rapid expansion of television stimulated similar discussions of its cultural and social effects. In this essay, I will briefly describe the sources of the debate and its specific arguments regarding the role of the internet in youth life. Then, I will
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The notion of a Net-generation is consistent with a deterministic view of the effect of technology on society. Technological determinism views technology as an independent force that drives social change.4 Technology itself exercises causal influence on social practices, and technological change induces changes in social organization and culture regardless of the social desirability of the change.


Sonia Livingstone, Leen d'Haenens, and Uwe Hasebrink, “Childhood in Europe: Contexts for Comparison,” Children and Their Changing Media Environment: A European Comparative Study, ed. Sonia Livingstone and Moira Bovill (London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2001) 3–31. 3 See Tapscott; Prensky. 4 Bruce Bimber, “Three Faces of Technological Determinism,” Does Technology Drive History?: The Dilemma of Technological Determinism, ed. Merritt Roe Smith and Leo Marx (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994) 79–100.



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