THE LEGITIMATIZATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE’S DIGITAL MEDIA PRACTICES WITHIN NEOLIBERAL CONTEXTS AND ECOLOGIES
Keywords:legitimatization, neoliberalism, youth, families
This panel focuses on different ways that practices of children, youth, and families are legitimatized (and deligitimatized) in schools, homes, and market places. With a focus on media consumption, the four papers examine the lived realities of families in the late 2010’s, a time period dominated by Trump-era politics, neoliberal ideologies, digital capitalisms and dilemmas of trust. In this moment, children and youth are positioned variously as in need of media literacy, parental regulations, and social controls. Simultaneously, children and youth are looked to as the future generation of political activists, savvy consumers, and promotional actors. In these polarized and sometimes conflicting positions, particular practices are recognized and condoned, while others are subject to intense scrutiny. We ask a number of questions: what discursive constructions are available for children and youth engaging with digital media? What options do parents have in terms of positioning themselves and their parenting in relation to children and media? In what ways are hierarchies of value enacted and replicated in relation to media and education? These questions are all framed by larger questions from the field of child studies and how the child is framed in various discourses - civic, parental, promotional and educational.