Kathryn C. Montgomery

Kathryn C. Montgomery is Professor in the Public Communication Division, School of Communication, at American University, where she directs the Project on Youth, Media, and Democracy. As founder of the Center for Media Education, she led a coalition of advocacy groups in a series of successful media policy campaigns on behalf of children and youth. She is the author of Target: Prime Time: Advocacy Groups and the Struggle over Entertainment Television.

  • Generation Digital

    Generation Digital

    Politics, Commerce, and Childhood in the Age of the Internet

    Kathryn C. Montgomery

    The role that children and youth play in the emerging digital media culture; as consumers targeted by marketing campaigns, as creators of their own digital culture, and as political participants.

    Children and teens today have integrated digital culture seamlessly into their lives. For most, using the Internet, playing videogames, downloading music onto an iPod, or multitasking with a cell phone is no more complicated than setting the toaster oven to "bake" or turning on the TV. In Generation Digital, media expert and activist Kathryn C. Montgomery examines the ways in which the new media landscape is changing the nature of childhood and adolescence and analyzes recent political debates that have shaped both policy and practice in digital culture.

    The media has pictured the so-called "digital generation" in contradictory ways: as bold trailblazers and innocent victims, as active creators of digital culture and passive targets of digital marketing. This, says Montgomery, reflects our ambivalent attitude toward both youth and technology. She charts a confluence of historical trends that made children and teens a particularly valuable target market during the early commercialization of the Internet and describes the consumer-group advocacy campaign that led to a law to protect children's privacy on the Internet. Montgomery recounts—as a participant and as a media scholar—the highly publicized battles over indecency and pornography on the Internet. She shows how digital marketing taps into teenagers' developmental needs and how three public service campaigns—about sexuality, smoking, and political involvement—borrowed their techniques from commercial digital marketers. Not all of today's techno-savvy youth are politically disaffected; Generation Digital chronicles the ways that many have used the Internet as a political tool, mobilizing young voters in 2004 and waging battles with the music and media industries over control of cultural expression online.

    Montgomery's unique perspective as both advocate and analyst will help parents, politicians, and corporations take the necessary steps to create an open, diverse, equitable, and safe digital media culture for young people.

    • Hardcover $7.75 £5.99
    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00

Contributor

  • Civic Life Online

    Civic Life Online

    Learning How Digital Media Can Engage Youth

    W. Lance Bennett

    The relationship of participation in online communities to civic and political engagement.

    Young people today have grown up living substantial portions of their lives online, seeking entertainment, social relationships, and a place to express themselves. It is clear that participation in online communities is important for many young people, but less clear how this translates into civic or political engagement. This volume examines the relationship of online action and real-world politics. The contributors discuss not only how online networks might inspire conventional political participation but also how creative uses of digital technologies are expanding the boundaries of politics and public issues. Do protests in gaming communities, music file sharing, or fan petitioning of music companies constitute political behavior? Do the communication skills and patterns of action developed in these online activities transfer to such offline realms as voting and public protests? Civic Life Online describes the many forms of civic life online that could predict a generation's political behavior.

    Contributors Marina Umaschi Bers, Stephen Coleman, Jennifer Earl, Kirsten Foot, Peter Levine, Kathryn C. Montgomery, Kate Raynes-Goldie, Howard Rheingold, Allen Schussman, Luke Walker, Michael Xenos

    • Hardcover $7.75 £5.99
    • Paperback $4.75 £3.99