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Children and the Internet

Sonia Livingstone|
Polity Press (June 2009)

Is the internet really transforming children and young people's lives? Is the so-called 'digital generation' genuinely benefiting from exciting new opportunities? And, worryingly, facing new risks?

This major new book by a leading researcher addresses these pressing questions. It deliberately avoids a techno-celebratory approach and, instead, interprets children's everyday practices of internet use in relation to the complex and changing historical and cultural conditions of childhood in late modernity. Uniquely, Children and the Internet reveals the complex dynamic between online opportunities and online risks, exploring this in relation to much debated issues such as:

  • Digital in/exclusion
  • Learning and literacy
  • Peer networking and privacy
  • Civic participation
  • Risk and harm

Drawing on current theories of identity, development, education and participation, this book includes a refreshingly critical account of the challenging realities undermining the great expectations held out for the internet - from governments, teachers, parents and children themselves. It concludes with a forward-looking framework for policy and regulation designed to advance children's rights to expression, connection and play online as well as offline.

  • Sonia Livingstone is professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE.

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Children and the Internet