Kids on YouTube: Technical Identities and Digital Literacies

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9781611329360: Kids on YouTube: Technical Identities and Digital Literacies
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The mall is so old school―these days kids are hanging out on YouTube, and depending on whom you ask, they're either forging the digital frontier or frittering away their childhoods in anti-intellectual solipsism. Kids on YouTube cuts through the hype, going behind the scenes to understand kids' everyday engagement with new media. Debunking the stereotype of the self-taught computer whiz, new media scholar and filmmaker Patricia G. Lange describes the collaborative social networks kids use to negotiate identity and develop digital literacy on the 'Tube. Her long-term ethnographic studies also cover peer-based and family-driven video-making dynamics, girl geeks, civic engagement, and representational ethics. This book makes key contributions to new media studies, communication, science and technology studies, digital anthropology, and informal education.

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About the Author:

Patricia G. Lange is an Assistant Professor of Critical Studies at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Recognized as an expert on YouTube and new media, she has been published in a wide variety of scholarly journals and contributed to the first edited volumes on YouTube, She is a co-author of Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media (2010), and Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project (2009). She has also released the ethnographic film Hey Watch This! Sharing the Self Through Media (2013), a diachronic investigation of YouTube as a social media site. Lange is the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of The CASTAC Blog, the official blog of the American Anthropological Association’s Committee on the Anthropology of Science, Technology and Computing. For more information visit patriciaglange.org.

Review:

For years I have been recommending Lange's work to those interested in the anthropology of YouTube. Throughout her research she has bravely presented her preliminary findings about YouTube on YouTube itself, immersing herself in the medium and community. Now we are invited to see the final results; a careful analysis of kids on YouTube that avoids and often upends conventional myths about youth in the digital world.”

Michael Wesch, Kansas State University

YouTube has redefined 'learning in public' for its users. Youthful participants create videos, form communities of practice, and display their ever-morphing identities. Patricia Lange’s exciting new book digs deeply into the practices, productions, and postings of kids online, redefining what it means to be digitally literate. If you want to understand how kids create, and then live with, a dazzling array of videos, Kids on YouTube will take you beyond the stereotypes, into the realities of mediated personhood.”

Jan English-Lueck, San Jose State University, author of Cultures@SiliconValley

Patricia G. Lange’s Kids on YouTube raises important issues about the ways that our current participatory media practices intersect contemporary family life and help to shape the ways that young people form their sense of themselves and the world around them. Through vividly drawn accounts of the roles which media-making and sharing plays in the lives of particular families, Lange convincingly demonstrates why these activities matter in terms of fostering new literacies, enabling new social relationships, and sustaining new forms of civic engagement.”

Henry Jenkins, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; author of Convergence Culture and Spreadable Media (with Sam Ford and Joshua Green)  

“The focus on technical affiliation is unique to Lange’s perspective and often illuminates aspects that are surprising or frequently left unquestioned. The resulting book offers a deeply illustrative picture of the complex world of video production and sharing, as experienced by mostly technically identifying kids who were active in YouTube’s early days.”
 
—Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, International Journal of Communication

"[This book is a] well-researched, and welcome contribution to the study of digital culture. It will be of real interest to scholars and students of both new media studies and education."

—Brent Luvaas, American Ethnologist

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