This paper presents the main results of an exploratory qualitative study on the functions and meanings of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in young people’s everyday life. Specifically, this study concerns teenagers’ cultural ways of interpreting the mobile phone and its uses, as they become part of their social world. Through their accounts and narratives about “young people’s use of the mobile phone”, teenagers construct their specific cultural model of this communication technology: it is seen as a radically social performance. Insofar as it is conceived as such, the mobile phone (MP) becomes a detonator of social thinking: it provokes reflective thinking on the ethics, politeness, etiquette and aesthetics of everyday action and social life. Reflecting upon the forms of use of the mobile phone, teenagers also explore the identity-making processes involved in the presentation of oneself on a public scene. In other words, they interpret and make the uses of the MP work as a social grammar through which people are supposed to define themselves and those around them. In this sense, using an MP in a teenage-appropriate way is not a matter of technical competence; it requires larger communicative skills that are cultural knowledge of when, where, why and, moreover, how tu use this technology. Interpreted in the frames of teenagers’ specific culture, the uses of the MP are also a tool for constructing the main dimensions of this culture and are used as a laboratory for the development of the skills needed to become competent members of their own community.

Constructing a Specific Culture: Young People’s Use of The Mobile Phone as a Social Performance

CARONIA, LETIZIA;
2004

Abstract

This paper presents the main results of an exploratory qualitative study on the functions and meanings of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in young people’s everyday life. Specifically, this study concerns teenagers’ cultural ways of interpreting the mobile phone and its uses, as they become part of their social world. Through their accounts and narratives about “young people’s use of the mobile phone”, teenagers construct their specific cultural model of this communication technology: it is seen as a radically social performance. Insofar as it is conceived as such, the mobile phone (MP) becomes a detonator of social thinking: it provokes reflective thinking on the ethics, politeness, etiquette and aesthetics of everyday action and social life. Reflecting upon the forms of use of the mobile phone, teenagers also explore the identity-making processes involved in the presentation of oneself on a public scene. In other words, they interpret and make the uses of the MP work as a social grammar through which people are supposed to define themselves and those around them. In this sense, using an MP in a teenage-appropriate way is not a matter of technical competence; it requires larger communicative skills that are cultural knowledge of when, where, why and, moreover, how tu use this technology. Interpreted in the frames of teenagers’ specific culture, the uses of the MP are also a tool for constructing the main dimensions of this culture and are used as a laboratory for the development of the skills needed to become competent members of their own community.
Caronia, Letizia; Caron, A. H.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/11520
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