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Title: Exploring teen boys' experiences of mobile technology at school
Author: Francis, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 7228 3986
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Mapping online performances via mobile technology among a group of diverse male adolescents, this thesis investigates the personal and institutional circumstances navigated at a secondary school in London. Exploring how adolescent males use their mobile devices to participate in online communities, the research questions how male identity constructions and peer relationships online shape embodied relations at school (offline) and vice versa. Following a qualitative interpretivist methodology based on eight male single gender focus groups (n = 30, May 2015) alongside four semi-structured staff interviews, data is analysed under three themes of Technology, Community, and Performances of Masculine Heterosexuality. Salient findings include the central tenet that mobile phone use blurs the space between school and outside of school (including home). Adolescent males describe versions of masculinity with regard to heterosexuality and girls that are distinct from those discourses performed around single-gender paradigms, often focused on violence. Technology is portrayed by the male adolescents as not static with school policy failing to acknowledge and respond to endemic picture and video exchange, free at the point of use. Social Networking Sites, accessed primarily through evolving mobile phones, transform relationships offline (e.g. ratings amongst peer groups) through online mediums (e.g. likes) and performances online (e.g. #soondelete) that only some schools may be familiar with. Banning mobile phones actively discourages transparent dialogue thereby reinforcing gendered stereotypes. Developing digital responsibility within the boys themselves lies at the heart of helping schools respond to challenges presented by male adolescent engagement with their personal mobile phones. Triangulating the needs of the boys alongside developing parent & carer understanding of mobile phone and ensuring staff training is effectively deployed should reduce risk to age inappropriate material (e.g. pornography) as well as ensure future mobile use remains focused on preparing the boys for whichever technological advancements lie in their future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available