1st Edition

Adolescents and Their Social Media Narratives
A Digital Coming of Age

ISBN 9780367459819
Published November 25, 2019 by Routledge
130 Pages

USD $47.95

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Book Description

Adolescents are forging a new path to self-development, taking advantage of the technology at their fingertips to produce desired results.

In Adolescents and Their Social Media Narratives, Walsh specifically explores how social media impacts teenagers' personal development. Indeed, through unique empirical data, Walsh presents an aspect of teen media use that is not often documented in the press—the seemingly deep and meaningful process of evaluating the self visually in an attempt to reconcile their presentation with their internal "self-story." Nevertheless, as Walsh outlines, this is not a process without its challenges.

Tracking teenagers’ progress towards self-validation from the offline stages preceding online exhibitions, this enlightening volume will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students, scholars, and researchers interested in fields such as Social Media Studies, Sociology of Adolescence, Identity Formation, Developmental Psychology, and Society and Technology.

Table of Contents

Introduction: "’Cause Pictures Speak a Lot of Words"

Chapter 1: Creating the Visual Narrative: "It’s their highlight reel that they’re showing you"

Chapter 2: Facebook Rules and Boundary Demarcation

Chapter 3: The Gendered Self-Narrative

Chapter 4: The Synthesis of the Real and the Reel Me

Conclusion: Launching the Evolving Self

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Jill Walsh is a Social Media and Education Consultant and Lecturer in Sociology at Boston University.


Young people have much to teach us about the emergent practices and processes of technology in society. Walsh’s rigorously researched and theoretically grounded monograph reveals what the kids are up to these days and taps into key intellectual threads of identity, authenticity, gender, and social networks.

Jenny L. Davis, Lecturer, School of Sociology, The Australian National University, Australia

Jill Walsh’s text is of great relevance for furthering our understanding of contemporary youth culture as it takes place on social media and the new practices of self-presentation, socialization, and interaction that emerge. Drawing on the sociological work of Goffman, Walsh provides a compelling analysis of contemporary youth culture as it unfolds on social media. Walsh’s text brings to life what growing up digitally means and the complexities of navigating a digital world where images, likes, and other’s opinions are the currency of social interaction. Walsh’s text draws on interviews, focus groups, and deep engagement with adolescents to better understand the new practices of self-presentation, socialization, and interaction that emerge within the boundaries of digital spaces like Facebook and Instagram. Walsh opens the world of teens to her readers in an engaging text that explores through narratives and experiences the new digital practices of posting photos, self-presentation, and engagement in which adolescent life takes place on the screen. Walsh’s work is compelling in her in-depth analysis of teen narratives and the radical social changes that have occurred in adolescence because of the new digital spaces for socialization. Walsh provides new insights into adolescence by unpacking the lives of teens as they navigate complex digital spaces. Walsh provides a new look at adolescence, adding to our understanding of how teens grow up in a digital world.

Anabel Quan-Haase, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Department of Sociology, Western University, Canada

In Adolescents and their Facebook Narratives Walsh provides a detailed account of what social media means to today's teenagers. Walsh's respectful, nuanced, and curious approach yields the most useful and clear-eyed study of the topic I have ever encountered. We can no longer comprehend adolescent development without attempting to understand the role of digital media in the lives of teenagers. Those of us who study and advocate for young people owe a debt of gratitude to Walsh for her brilliant illumination of this critical facet of the modern teenager's world.

Lisa Damour, PhD, author of UntangledNew York Times best seller