Barns digitala rum : berättelser om e-post, chatt & Internet

Sammanfattning: This thesis contributes to an understanding of the conditions of children in the changeable society, by way of a study on children’s use and experiences of e-mail, chat and the Internet as means of communication. The empirical material used is interviews with children between 8 and 13 years old, conducted in their school environment, complemented with a continuous dialogue via e-mail and chat over a period of 17 months between 1997 and 1998.Based in a pedagogical ethnography, the principle of abductive inference has been used, combined with sensitizing concepts, in a qualitative analysis. In the analysis, semiotics has been an important element in the development of an understanding in the children’s experiences of the computer-mediated communication (CMC), as well as in relating their experiences to a theoretical context.Children find a wide range of affordances in the computer and the information- and communication technology (ICT). As e-mail, and chat and the Internet in particular, became widespread during this period, the experience of having used these tool can be seen as a developmental task for children. ICT gives children access to an arena where they can transcend the biological (i.e. the body, age) and the physical (i.e. geography). Therefore, ICT becomes a prosthesis that affords interaction and communication in a ‘glocal’ culture, where children are able to make new contacts with other actors as well as transcend their physical identity.The thesis also includes a discussion on how to use empirical data collected in cyberspace (i.e. e-mail and chat), and what ethical problems one encounters in doing so.