- Series: Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives
- Hardcover: 265 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (September 10, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521513324
- ISBN-13: 978-0521513326
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,284,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Constructing the Self in a Digital World (Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives) 1st Edition
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"...a scholarly work aimed at serious students and professionals. The book is a compilation of eight scholarly essays and studies exploring the development of self-identity and is written by experts from across the globe with section commentaries by the two authors.... Not only is there much helpful information for the serious investigator, each chapter contains an extensive bibliography for additional resources.... Recommended..."
--C. L. Tannahill, Eastern Connecticut State University, CHOICE
It has become popular in recent years to talk about "identity" as an aspect of engagement with technology. Constructing the Self in a Digital World interrogates the various definitions of identity while examining the role of technology in the learning and lives of young people.
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Top Customer Reviews
This carefully curated books is divided into two Parts ("Authoring and Exploring Identity" and "Identities in Flux and in Play"), each with and introduction and four research-based chapters. Most of the research revolves around teenagers, though one study involved five- and six-year olds.
Because of the open-ended, exploratory research most of the scholars carried out, and because of the relatively small sample size of most of the studies, there is very little in the form of clear conclusions. Another issue is that most of the studies approached the subject matter through contrived (classroom and afterschool) experiences, instead of taking a more ethnographic approach to see how individuals construct their identities through the course of their normal, heavily digital lives. Nonetheless, for academics interested in this niche subject, this book represents a thorough and exhaustively documented resource.
This book is about 250 pages long and is divided into two parts:
*** Part I. Authoring and Exploring Identity (which is about 122 pages):
I found the first part of the book to be a difficult read. It was very academic and somewhat dry at times.
It is about how technology is used to help study how we mold our identities. The focus of the research is mainly on children and teenagers. This research used technology (digital cameras, digital storytelling, website creation, etc.) to compile its information.
The chapter on Positive Technological Development (PTD) was of particular interest to me as a parent of a teenager. Its research is focused on youth development in technology-rich settings (computers used in the school setting, computers used for social uses such as email, music, meeting new people, shopping, etc., etc.)
*** Part II. Identities in Flux and in Play (which is about 110 pages):
I found Part II to be much more readable. It starts out by a fascinating look into "online" or "virtual" identities. How the ability to change our identities online (becoming a wizard or alien, etc.), or just the mere ability to be anonymous, and the positive and negative effects of that on their behavior.
This part discusses how online interactions influence young peoples' identity development. There is an entire chapter that examines the site of Whyville.com as an example of how kids develop their online identities.
There is an entire chapter devoted to girls. It gives particular attention to how digital technologies shape young feminine identities.
Overall, this is a great book for anyone studying identity development in children and adolescents.
It's hard to know how to rate this book. If you're an academic researcher studying child and teen development, you will probably want to read this book. The authors draw primarily on ethnographic and case studies to make their points.
I was particularly intrigue by the article on construction of identity through story telling. Two boys were guided through a short narrative of their lives. The authors followed up, discovering that one boy's life had been changed in a positive way.
The articles are all of good quality and unusually well-written. The authors seem well-qualified to present these papers. The topics seemed somewhat narrow, even for academia, but they will be extremely valuable to anyone interested in broader issues of identity construction and developmental psychology in a digital age.