Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out
Conventional wisdom about young people’s use of digital technology often equates generational identity with technology identity: today’s teens seem constantly plugged in to video games, social networking sites, and text messaging. Yet there is little actual research that investigates the intricate dynamics of youths’ social and recreational use of digital media. Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out fills this gap, reporting on an ambitious three-year ethnographic investigation into how young people are living and learning with new media in varied settings—at home, in after-school programs, and in online spaces.
Integrating twenty-three case studies—which include Harry Potter podcasting, video-game playing, music sharing, and online romantic breakups—in a unique collaborative authorship style, Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out is distinctive for its combination of in-depth description of specific group dynamics with conceptual analysis.
About the Authors
Mizuko Ito is a cultural anthropologist who studies new media use, particularly among young people, in Japan and the United States, and a Professor in Residence at the University of California Humanities Research Institute.
Becky Herr-Stephenson is a Research Fellow at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Previously, she was a postdoctoral researcher with the Digital Media and Learning Hub at the University of California Humanities Research Institute.
Dan Perkel is a doctoral candidate at UC Berkeley earning a degree in Information Management and Systems from the School of Information, with a Designated Emphasis in New Media from the Berkeley Center for New Media.
Christo Sims is a doctoral candidate at UC Berkeley's School of Information and a researcher for the Digital Media and Learning Hub at the University of California Humanities Research Institute.
—John Seely Brown, Former Chief Scientist, Xerox Corporation, and Former Director of Xerox PARC
—Sonia Livingstone , London School of Economics and Political Science