With pervasive use of mobile devices and social media, there is a constant tension between the promise of new forms of social engagement and the threat of misuse and misappropriation, or the risk of harm and harassment.
Negotiating Digital Citizenship explores the diversity of experiences that define digital citizenship. These range from democratic movements that advocate social change via social media platforms to the realities of online abuse, racial or sexual intolerance, harassment and stalking. Young people, educators, social service providers and government authorities have become increasingly enlisted in a new push to define and perform ‘good’ digital citizenship, yet there is little consensus on what this term really means and sparse analysis of the vested interests that drive its definition.
The chapters probe the idea of digital citizenship, map its use among policy makers, educators, and activists, and identify avenues for putting the concept to use in improving the digital environments and digitally enabled tenets of contemporary social life. The components of digital citizenship are dissected through questions of control over our online environments, the varieties of contest and activism and possibilities of digital culture and creativity.
Introduction: Beyond Freedom and Control, Anthony McCosker, Sonja Vivienne and Amelia Johns
Part I: Control / 2. Managing Cyberbullying: The Three Layers of Control in Digital Citizenship, Anthony McCosker / 3. Rethinking (Children’s and Young People’s) Citizenship through Dialogues on Digital Practice, Amanda Third & Philippa Collin / 4. Reimagining Digital Citizenship via Disability, Gerard Goggin / 5. “Mastering Your Fertility”: The Digitised Reproductive Citizen, Deborah Lupton / Part II: Contest / 6. Digital Citizen X: XNet and the Radicalisation of Citizenship, Eugenia Siapera / 7. Indigenous Activism and Social Media: A Global Response to #SOBLAKAUSTRALIA, Bronwyn Carlson & Ryan Frazer / 8. Platforms are Eating Society: Conflict and Governance in Digital Spaces, Andrew Quodling / 9.Intimate Citizenship 3.0, Sonja Vivienne / Part III: Culture / 10. “Somewhere in America”: The #MIPSTERZ Digital Community and Muslim Youth Voice Online, Amelia Johns and Abbas Rattani / 11. Holding a Space for Gender-Diverse and Queer Research Participants, Sonja Vivienne, Brady Robards & Sian Lincoln / 12. Politics of Sexting Revisited, Kath Albury / 13. Civic Practices, Design, and Makerspaces, Pip Shea / 14. Digital Citizenship in Local Memory Websites, Mike de Kreek & Liesbet van Zoonen
This collection of essays offers an excellent representation of recent scholarship on digital citizenship. The contributions together challenge the reader to rethink the meaning of “digital citizenship”, doing so through interrogations of online practices ranging from more conventional political activisms to cultural politics emerging from intimate communities of affinity. It has given me much pause for thought.
This engaging and lively volume not only provides brilliant guidance on the maze of technologies that are controlling, contesting, and creating digital citizens but also contributes to a broader understanding of performative citizenship by illustrating the ways in which people are making themselves as political agents of a world that is at once digital (virtual) and analogue (actual).
The authors in this volume offer thought-provoking notions of digital citizenship across cultures and diverse contexts, across an impressive range of topics. While digital citizenship can be defined as the ability to participate in society online, these contributions examine critically, in important ways, what constitutes participation, how that varies for different populations, and the costs as well as the benefits of belonging in the digital age.
Anthony McCosker is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
Sonja Vivienne is Lecturer in Digital Media at Flinders University of South Australia
Amelia Johns is Research Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalization, Deakin