University of Southern California

Project Summary

In the first in-depth ethnographic study of its kind, Ito immerses herself in the worlds of young people aged 10 to 30 to explore digital media’s effect on their lives. Initial results show that youths’ interaction in the digital world creates new opportunities to grapple with social norms and conduct, explore new interests, perfect skills, and experiment with new capabilities. In doing so, they are transforming the role of experts and demanding new responses from educators and public institutions that serve them. The research team interviewed 659 youth in-depth, conducted focus groups with 67 youth, and analyzed diaries of numerous youth. Results are forthcoming in Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009).