Title: The adolescent bricoleur: constructing identities through social networking sites

Authors: Janette Hughes; Laura Morrison; Anne Burke

Addresses: Faculty of Education, University of Ontario Institute of Technology Oshawa, Ontario, Canada ' Faculty of Education, University of Ontario Institute of Technology Oshawa, Ontario, Canada ' Faculty of Education, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada

Abstract: Adolescents are at a stage in life where their sense-of-self and identity are evolving. With increasing access to ever-more advanced technologies, it is important to explore the implications for the adolescents who use them. This research aimed to examine the construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of adolescent identities through an exploration of the design choices and social practices of elementary students on two social networking sites. Using a mixed-method research approach of qualitative case study analysis and quantitative surveying, we investigated the relationship between a multiliteracies pedagogy and the development of adolescent digital literacies and identity. Findings from the research indicate that social networking sites provide youth a platform in which to explore their identity. With such features as status updates, video/photo uploads, discussion threads and the 'like' and comments functions, these sites facilitated social interaction and identity performance amongst the students during class time and after-school. To maximise the academic and social affordances, however, it is necessary to build in lessons and/or scaffolding to encourage thoughtful and genuine online interaction.

Keywords: adolescent bricoleur; constructing identities; digital literacies; Edmodo; mobile devices; multiliteracies; Ning; pedagogy; social media; social practices; social presence.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMILE.2017.087673

International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 2017 Vol.5 No.2, pp.87 - 107

Received: 08 Aug 2016
Accepted: 21 May 2017

Published online: 30 Oct 2017 *

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