Digital Media, Friendship and Cultures of Care
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 30, 2020
This book explores how digital media can extend care practices among friends and peers, researching young people’s negotiations of sexual health, mental health, gender/sexuality and dating apps, and highlighting the need for a multi-focal approach that centres young people’s expertise.
Taking an ‘everyday practice’ approach to digital and social media, Digital Media, Friendship and Cultures of Care emphasises that digital media are not novel but integrated into daily life. The book introduces the concept of ‘digital cultures of care’ as a new framework through which to consider digital practices of friendship and peer support, and how these play out across a range of platforms and networks. Challenging common public and academic concerns about peer and friendship influences on young people, these terms are unpacked and reconsidered through attention to digital media, drawing on qualitative research findings to argue that digital and social media have created important new opportunities for emotional support, particularly for young people and LGBTQ+ populations, often excluded from formal healthcare and social support.
This book and its comprehensive focus on friendship will be of interest to a range of readers, including academics, students, health promoters, educators, policymakers and advocacy groups for either young people, LGBTQ+ communities, or digital citizenship. Academics most interested in this book will be working in digital media studies, health sociology, critical public health, health communication, sexualities, cultural studies, sex education, and gender studies.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION: Who Cares?
Young people are not going online
Young people in this book
A public discourse of care
Digital intimacy as everyday practice
Beyond risk approaches
Cultures of care
CHAPTER 1: More than just friends
Friendship and popular culture
Friendship and social media
Changing modes of friendship
Friendship as affective practice
CHAPTER 2: What do we know about peers?
Peers and friends: sexual health disruptors
Is digital support friendship?
Digital peer support cultures
CHAPTER 3: Young people’s social media expertise
Social media use
Thinking beyond ‘health information seeking’
Sexual health promotion and social media
Young people’s social media use
A crisis of authority and the changing nature of expertise
Partnering with experts
CHAPTER 4: Friendship and sexual intimacy
Intimacy, bodies, and feelings
Friendship and sex
The distance of sexual health promotion
Sex with friends
Friendship as health promoting
Attending to intimacy
CHAPTER 5: LGBTQ+ peer support for mental health
Digital information and support
Digital care structures
Community reports: friends and peers
Digital mental health support
Mental health on Tumblr
CHAPTER 6: Friends with dating apps
Approaching dating/hook-up apps as friend spaces
Making friends on dating/hook-up apps
The safety of mutual friends
Friendship support for app use
Friends with apps
Paul Byron is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney, based in the School of Communication. As a digital and social media researchers, his current research focuses on LGBTIQ+ young people’s digital peer support, and how this can inform Australian mental health policy.