Wired Youth : The Social World of Adolescence in the Information Age book cover
1st Edition

Wired Youth
The Social World of Adolescence in the Information Age

ISBN 9780415459938
Published April 13, 2010 by Routledge
184 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The debate on the social impact of information and communication technologies is particularly important for the study of adolescent life, because through their close association with friends and peers, adolescents develop life expectations, school aspirations, world views, and behaviors.

This book presents an up-to-date review of the literature on youth sociability, relationship formation, and online communication, examining the way young people use the internet to construct or maintain their inter-personal relationships. Using a social network perspective, the book systematically explores the various effects of internet access and use on adolescents’ involvement in social, leisure and extracurricular activities, evaluating the arguments that suggest the internet is displacing other forms of social ties. The core of the book investigates the motivations for online relationship formation and the use of online communication for relationship maintenance. The final part of the book focuses on the consequences, both positive and negative, of the use of online communication, such as increased social capital and online bullying.

Wired Youth is ideal for undergraduate and graduate students of adolescent psychology, youth studies, media studies and the psychology and sociology of interpersonal relationships.

Table of Contents

1. The Information Age, Youth and Social Networks. 2. The Internet at Home. 3. Sociability and Internet Use. 4. Online Relationship Formation. 5. ICT and Existing Ties. 6. The Impact of ICT on Social Network Structure 7. Online Communication and Negative Social Ties 8. Summary and Discussion.

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Gustavo S. Mesch is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Haifa. He is currently the Chair of the Information and Communication Section of the American Sociological Association. His main research interests include youth culture, technology and society, online communication and the interface of online and face to face social networks.

Ilan Talmud is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Haifa. His main research interests include social network analysis, the internet and society, economic sociology, organization and management theory and theories of social capital.


"Wired Youth would be an excellent text for a graduate seminar on the topic and certainly fills a niche in the related research literature." – Brien K. Ashdown and Natalie Homa in PsycCRITIQUES

"A work of impressive and painstaking scholarship, enhanced with twenty pages of references and a comprehensive index, Wired Youth is a strongly recommended addition to academic library Contemporary Sociology reference collections and supplemental reading lists." - Able Greenspan in The Midwest Book Review

"This book stands apart from a flood of hyperbole about 'born digital children.' The authors provide an empirically anchored and analytically rigorous perspective on the role of the Internet in the social lives of adolescents. This is must reading for anyone with serious concerns about children and the Internet."  - Professor William Dutton, Director, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, UK

"This book offers a thought-provoking view on the role of the web in young peoples’ lives, and is a must for every behavioural and social scientist interested in how adolescents deal with the rapid technological and social change of our times. " – Rainer K. Silbereisen, Department of Developmental Psychology, University of Jena, Germany

"Are teens really different in the Age of the Internet? What's going on beneath the buds of their smartphones and under the fingers of their keyboards? This book uses sound, empirically-based methods to show how life on the internet and life in real life are intertwined." - Barry Wellman, University of Toronto, Canada

"Accessible, clear, and illuminating, this overview integrates research worldwide and across disciplines, whilst avoiding the traps of celebratory as well as moral panic approaches. It offers an intelligent and useful perspective of contemporary adolescents' off- and on-line lives." - Dafna Lemish, Professor of Communication, Tel Aviv University, Israel