06 SES 01, Growing Up in a Digital World: Practices and policies
The paper presents the first findings of the research entitled THE SENSE OF THE COMMON: FROM SOCIAL NETWORKS TO VIRTUAL NETWORKS IN CHILE, whose general purpose is to understand the sense of commonness, citizenship and democracy that adolescents and Young people possess as users of virtual social networks. The theoretical substance of this research is supported by two thematic lines: the concept of the common, the political and citizenship, on the one hand and the OLSN on the other.
In the last ten years, so-called Online Social Networks (OLSN) have flourished almost exponentially. According to the ComScore report (2011: 2) in June 2011, 114.5 million people in Latin America visited a social website, which represents 96% of the entire population with on-line access in the region. The report also indicates that the use of social networks has increased by 16% in recent years. Of all of them Facebook is one of the most used, reaching over 1 billion active users, maintaining its leadership in 127 countries. Facebook is used by 90.9% of online users in Chile. Although users have varying ages, adolescents and young people are the majority (Livingstone, Brake 2010, Boyd 2006, 2007, Bernal and Angulo 2013). The investigations consulted emphasize a particularly outstanding element in the involvement of youth: its importance for the construction of their identity and for their socialization. According to Boyd (2006) adolescents are characterized by an active engaged in the 'creation' and production of their identity, with the difference that now the OLSN become a dynamic and fundamental space for it. Maguth (2012) also points out that digital technologies and OLSN are ideal platforms for getting involved in social life (Plowman & McPake 2013, Plowman 2013). Teens communicate (Instant Messenging), write comments, share pictures, music, ideas, phrases and stay in company, hanging out with their peers (Buckingham 2008). Digital technologies allow them to recreate the public and the private in their lives (Boyd 2006), in one place online: private messages and open exchange.
We have to clarify that although these environments support and contribute to their active socialization, we would be talking about their involvement in the mass media, but not necessarily their civic involvement (Buckingham 2008; Bennett 2008a, 2008b; Levine 2008). Benett (2008b) points out that we have two opposing perspectives here: young users involved and open to a broad spectrum of online civic actions or, on the contrary, disengaged youth from everyday civic life. Concerned about their 'personality', although active in relation to other forms of public expression alternatives, such as occasional protests or adhesions in the OLSN, but away from the centers of political life in society and the traditional frameworks of understanding the civic. Perhaps what is happening has to do with a shift from 'dutiful citizen' to the 'actualizing citizen'. This idea tries to capture the transformations that the OLSN produce in the civic conceptions, in the sense of the common and in the processes of political socialization of the new generations.
The political and the sense of the common are understood from a democratic experience opposed to the classical notion of representative democracy that reduces democracy to pure procedure, bureaucracy and homogenization. We assume the democratic exercise as a practice of dialogue between different subjects, accepting that each subject, along with being a bearer of rights and duties, is responsible for the destiny of their community (Mouffe 2007; Esposito, 2006, 2007; Castoriadis 2005, 2007; Rancière, 2006; Balibar 2012).
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