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New paper out: Social Network Sites and Digital Youth Culture December 11, 2009

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Academic, Papers, PhD Data, Social network sites, Youth Culture.

I have a new paper out in the latest volume of the journal MedieKultur. The paper is called ‘Social network sites and digital youth culture: When young people practice friendships online (‘Sociale netværkssider og digital ungdomskultur: Når unge praktiserer venskab på nettet’). I regret to say that the paper is in Danish, which will probably discourage some of you from reading it. I can, however, provide you with an English abstract:

During the past few years, hundreds of thousands of Danes have created personal profiles on websites such as Arto, Facebook and MySpace. With the emergence and popularisation of these sites, we have witnessed a new media concept: social network(ing) sites. As is often the case with new media, teenagers have been the first to take social network sites to heart. In this paper I discuss the concept of online social networking and describe how social network sites are used as part of everyday teenage life to maintain social relations. I do this, firstly, by presenting a number of concepts that I consider to be important in relation to young people’s use of social network sites. Secondly, I highlight some results from my own research on 12-18-year-old children and adolescents’ use of various social network sites, including Arto.com, which has been Danish teenagers’ preferred venue on the Internet for a relatively long time. Using empirical examples, I analyse and discuss how social network sites are an integral part of the young users’ friendships and social lives. The article is based on four years of ethnographic studies.

The paper does not really contain any of my newest PhD results (since I wrote it a year ago), but I am using the paper in my dissertation as part of my chapter 3, where I define and frame my research topic.

You can download the paper in a pdf-version here. Also, check out other interesting papers from the volume.

Slides from public talks October 29, 2009

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Arto, Facebook, Science communication, Social network sites, Talks, Youth Culture.

Yesterday I gave four public talks in Aalborg under the headline “Facebook and the digital youth culture” (all talks in Danish, though). During the day I talked at three different high schools and the last talk was in the evening at Studenterhuset. Since many of the attendants asked for my slides I will provide them here:

They will probably only make sense to the people who attended the talks, since the integrated links with examples, definitions, pictures etc. don’t work in slideshare. Also, I have cut out some of the pictures out of ethical considerations. BUT I have provided a list of reference to both my own and other researchers’ publications, where those interested can read more.

Online social networking: From local experiences to global discourses September 11, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Academic, Conferences, Social Networking, Youth Culture.

As I am no longer on vacation, it must be time for an update from My PhD Blog.

As I wrote in my last post, I have been working on my paper for this year’s AoiR conference in Copenhagen. The paper is entitled “Online soical networking: From local experiences to global discourses”. It is based on the comprehensive national survey about Danish teenagers’ use of social network sites that I conducted together with The Media Council last year. In the paper I explore the different experiences that young people have through the use of social networking technologies. Those experiences are analysed in relation to the often one-sided public discourses surrounding the subject. Here is an extract from the abstract:

Often, young people do not have a voice in the public debate on internet safety and online social networking, but – as the paper will demonstrate – that does not mean that they do not have an opinion. By examining the responses of 2400 Danish young people to an online open-ended questionnaire dealing with their experiences on social network sites, I demonstrate how young people relate not only to a local context, but also a broader societal level when addressing the issues of online behaviour. In the paper I analyse how young Danes between the age of 12 and 18 – through their statements and responses in the survey – construct themselves as users of social network sites both in relation to very concrete and local online experiences from their everyday life and in relation to a more intangible global level of mediated discourses. Subsequently, I analyse how they construct themselves as ‘responsible young people’ by distancing themselves from the public and “grown up” discourse represented by e.g. their parents, teachers or the media.

I look forward to presenting my ideas about the “local experiences” and “global discourses”, which are based on Ron Scollon’s framework of Geographies of Discourse. Also, I look forward to the AoiR conference in general. The programme looks really interesting.

My paper can be downloaded here.

Go online with your kids May 19, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Internet Safety, Social Networking, Survey, Youth Culture.
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This weekend the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende published an article about children and young people’s use of social network sites and how much knowledge parents have about their children’s online activities. The article is based on the survey I have conducted together with with The Danish Media Council for Children and Young People. It uses some empirical examples from our study and the overall message is that parents should go online with their kids.

You can read the article here (unfortunately only in Danish). I like the cartoon that goes along with the article 😀

The online and offline symbol of a heart March 6, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Language, Offline, Online, Youth Culture.

As some of you might know, I have started taking pictures of “offline walls” (aka graffiti). Especially, when I am out giving talks all over Denmark and have a lot of waiting time in public spaces such as train or bus stations.

As I have mentioned before, it seems that the online way of communicating has affected the offline. Symbols that most often belong to Arto profiles or Facebook walls can now be found on actual, physical walls.

Yesterday I was in Assens and had some time to kill in the local bus station waiting room. Here, I found a message saying “I love you” along with two drawings that capture both the online (<3) and the offline symbol of a heart: (the highlights and the blurring of the last name have been made by me):


I have many similar examples of online symbols or references being used in the physical public space. I find this interesting in relation to my PhD project, as it says something about how the boundaries of online and offline communication and relationships are blurred – and how the virtual space is represented IRL and vice versa.

On this specific wall I also found references to Arto profiles. It’s all about being OnLife 🙂 ❤

New paper: The library users of the future September 24, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Libraries, Publications, Social Networking, Youth Culture.
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My paper in the Danish journal DF Revy is now published. The paper defines “the digital library users of the future” by describing how today’s youngsters use the internet and social networking sites when communicating and socialising.

You can download the paper (unfortunately, only in Danish) here.

<3 – from online to offline September 19, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Chat, Language, Youngsters, Youth Culture.

Today : – ) (the smiley) can celebrate its 25th birthday. On account of that I want to share a little story about a related symbol, the heart: <3.

❤ is a symbol that especially youth use when they are communicating online. I have seen many examples on Arto where youngsters use the symbol when they are writing praising messages about each other, e.g. like this message from one 16-year old girl to another:



Youth, Web 2.0 and the library September 10, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Libraries, Talks, Web 2.0, Youngsters, Youth Culture.
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hoved.jpgThis Friday I am attending and speaking at an interesting conference called “Ung 2.0” (“Youth 2.0”) about youth, culture and the library. The conference aims at defining what preoccupies young people today and how the libraries can accommodate the youngsters in the future. I am giving a presentation on youth and virtual communities (social networking sites) based on my research. Read more about the conference here (only in Danish).

Also, I have been writing an article about “the digital library users of the future” for the Danish journal DF Revy. (I will remember to post a link when it comes out.)

Furthermore, I have been giving interviews on how libraries can seek inspiration in social networking sites. And I am speaking at another conference dealing with the very same subject at The Royal School of Library and Information Science in Copenhagen later this month.

It is nice to see that libraries are really embracing the world of Web 2.0, social software and new media and trying to design for a new generation of library users.

Focusing on youth and social networking July 10, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Social Networking, Youngsters, Youth Culture.

I want to thank all of you who e-mailed me about my article ‘35 Perspectives on Online Social Networking‘ and also those who commented on the article at Social Computing Magazine or Slashdot. I found many of the comments to be really interesting and adding further perspectives to the discussion.

I can see from the comments that many people find that I focus too much on youth in the article. In this regard I would like to stress that my research is on young people’s use of social networking sites and therefore the article is only concerned with that. Actually, the list presented should be viewed as a list of ’35 Perspectives on Youngsters and Online Social Networking’ reflecting the many different ‘voices’ we are currently experiencing in Denmark when it comes to online social networking and youth.

As mentioned earlier the list is mostly based on my own experiences with the subject in Denmark where the concept of ‘social networking’ is just now starting to spread to the whole population. I find that up until now we have been going through a ‘moral panic phase’ where (the majority of) the older generation – the digital immigrants to use Prensky’s terms – have been worried about the use of SNS by the younger generation, the digital natives. But I think that social networking sites are starting to get a grip on the general public and when that happens it will be interesting to explore what (new) perspectives will emerge…

New paper: Love and friendship in the digital room April 30, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Academic, Arto, Friendship, Identity, Social Networking, Youth Culture.

undgomdsforskning01_07.jpgMy new paper “Kærlighed og venskab på Arto.dk” (“Love and friendship on Arto.dk”) is now available online. The paper is part of the newest issue of the Danish journal “Ungdomsforskning” on young people’s different rooms or spaces. I recommend the other articles in the issue which are all very interesting.

You can download my article here.
Or read the whole issue of “Ungdomsforskning” here.