MC440      Half Unit
Children, Youth and Media

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Sonia Livingstone


This course is available on the MPhil/PhD in Data, Networks and Society, MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and Fudan), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and UCT), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and USC), MSc in Media and Communications, MSc in Media and Communications (Data and Society), MSc in Media and Communications (Media and Communications Governance), MSc in Media and Communications (Research), MSc in Media, Communication and Development, MSc in Politics and Communication and MSc in Strategic Communications. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

In order to accommodate academic staff research leave and sabbaticals, and in order to maintain smaller seminar group sizes, this course is controlled access, meaning that there is a limit to the number of students who can be accepted.


There are no pre-requisites for this course. Students should apply via LSE for You without submitting a statement.

Please do not email the teacher with personal expressions of interest as these are not required and do not influence who is offered a place.

Course content

New course for 2023/24

In a mediated world, children and young people are subject to considerable hopes and fears from experts, policymakers and the public. Further, children and young people have attracted a considerable multidisciplinary and increasingly global body of research examining their diverse and changing relations with media – especially digital media. This course will critically examine the debates surrounding children, youth and media through the lens of key theories, including moral panics, children’s rights, mediation and mediatization, media effects, child development and socio-cultural approaches. Each year, we will apply these theories, along with relevant evidence, to topical issues relating to childhood and youth – for example, digital play, parental mediation, screen time, online risks and mental health, social media and wellbeing, datafication and digital literacies. The course will also recognise how historical and multidisciplinary perspectives on childhood and youth have been constructed with and through media.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the WT.

This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars totalling a minimum of 20 hours across Winter Term. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of term.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to submit one formative essay of 1,500 words in the Winter Term.

Indicative reading

  • Banaji, S. (2017). Children and Media in India: Narratives of class, agency and social change. Routledge.
  • Buckingham, D., Bragg, S., and Kehily, M.J. (2014) (Eds.) Youth Cultures in the Age of Global Media. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Gee, E., Takeuchi, L., and Wartella, E. (2018). Children and Families in the Digital Age: Learning together in a media saturated culture. Routledge.
  • Green, L., Holloway, D., Stevenson, K., Leaver, T, and Haddon, L. (2020) (Eds.) Routledge Companion to Digital Media and Children. Routledge.
  • Grimes, S. M. (2021). Digital Playgrounds: The Hidden Politics of Children’s Online Play Spaces, Virtual Worlds, and Connected Games. University of Toronto Press.
  • Lemish, D. (2015). Children and Media: A global perspective. Wiley.
  • Livingstone, S., and Blum-Ross, A. (2020). Parenting for a Digital Future: How hopes and fears about technology shape children's lives. Oxford University Press.
  • Mascheroni, G., and Siibak, A. (2021). Datafied Childhoods: Data practices and imaginaries in children’s lives. Peter Lang.
  • Third, A., Collin, P., Walsh, L. and Black, R. (2019). Control Shift: Young people in digital society. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • UNICEF (2017). The State of the World's Children: Children in a digital world. UNICEF.


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Media and Communications

Total students 2022/23: Unavailable

Average class size 2022/23: Unavailable

Controlled access 2022/23: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills