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Title: A Deleuzo-Guattarian study of youth, social media and identity becomings at school and online
Author: Bustillos Morales, Jessie A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 9359 9576
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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The prevalence of social media in young people’s lives is widely accepted in today’s society. Although social media use is ubiquitous in young people’s lives, schools continue to overlook how young people engage with social media. Drawing on ideas from Deleuze and Guattari (2013) this thesis uses an ethnographic approach to explore the ways in which nine young people engage with social media platforms to generate a sense of identity. Using ethnographic interviews, school and online observations, this thesis examines the relationship between school cultures and online social media environments inhabited by the young people. Working as an academic tutor at a mainstream secondary school in the UK, the researcher had access to the research participants’ day-to-day school activities, as well as extended access to their online lives by conducting online observations on various social media platforms they used. Each participant was analysed using a Deleuzo-Guattarian conceptual frame which draws from the notions of assemblages, becomings, territorialisations and de-territorialisations. The research findings identify some of the participants’ dissatisfaction with narrow and constricting school curricular cultures, whilst also highlighting how the blurred expectations that social media offers facilitates the building of their ambitions and aspirations. Therefore, the thrust of the thesis is to trace some of the relationalities between school cultures and the social media used by the young people. The findings could inform current government initiatives exploring social media’s impact on young people’s health and lives. With legislation due to be passed between 2020 and 2021, this thesis could deepen the understanding of how young people’s online activity is intricately linked with other aspects of their everyday lives, such as school. The thesis demonstrates how participants’ engagements online are nuanced and opening up possibilities for empowerment, identity work and the pursuit of a curated becoming underpinned by the particularities of social media platforms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available