Ungas samspel i sociala medier : Att balansera mellan ansvar och positionering

Sammanfattning: The growing communication that takes place between young people today causes concern. The purpose of this study is to develop in – depth knowledge of the interaction that young people engage in online. The pedagogic interest is based on an investigation of conditions for social learning and social integration that exist in practice, which unfolds in virtual spaces created by social media. The technology referred to in this thesis is considered to be a social construction, which entails that values circulate between people, technology, and society. The theoretical point of departure is based on a pedagogic theory, which proposes that people develop their ability to cooperate, their social identity, and their understanding of the world through interaction with others. This dissertation includes three studies. The first study investigates support and harassment online (for example, insults). The second study is conducted for the purpose of revealing the discursive patterns in young people’s argumentation, based on a series of interviews. Finally, a text analysis of Facebook’s policy document was performed, with focus on the democratic values that are mediated via this document. The overall result is that considerably more young people feel that they are supported in social media, than those who are harassed. Both a supportive culture and a harassing culture can be defined however. The more often young people support their friends, the more often they find themselves to be the recipient of support. The same relationship pertains for harassing communication. Reciprocity, respect, and being responsible are dominant themes in a close circle of friends. In interaction with friends who are not members of the close circle of friends, communication is characterised by asymmetry and control. The imposition of discipline takes place as a function of both gender and status. The risk of being subject to reprisals is great, if the prevailing system of norms is violated. Young people’s social interaction in virtual spaces tends to be dominated by marketization where strategic behaviour, which primarily is a function of the individual’s social position and profit interest, is observed.