CHANGING SOCIETIES AND CULTURES: YOUTH IN THE DIGITAL AGE
NYRIS12 focuses on cultural and social changes in the digital age. Rapid technological developments, structural changes in society and economic uncertainty may influence young people in some respects more than other age groups. In the highly globalising and ICT-saturated world young people can also be seen as one of the main agents of change in society.
Technological developments have enabled new forms of participation in international communities as well as rapid exchange of ideas and cultural products. The lives of many young people are being reconfigured by new digital technologies that bring about multi-directional trends and outcomes – opportunities as well as challenges. New cultural trends or political worldviews are often global in reach, spreading quickly to different locations while also developing unique local characteristics in different places. On one hand, technological advances like security cameras enhance safety, while, on the other hand, unregulated cyberspace creates too many uncontrolled or risky situations. In the digital era young people have broader opportunities for socializing and self-expression but digitally disadvantaged young people may be more excluded from social life.
Youth research has to consider all these changes, opportunities or risks while focusing on a variety of topics related to youth - youth cultures, identities, values, consumption, inequality, labour market, education, creativity, political participation, sexuality etc. Regardless of the research angle it is impossible to investigate contemporary youth without acknowledging the mutual shaping of young people’s agency, digital developments and social changes.