Professor Sonia Livingstone Email:

Children and young people’s relation to media of all kinds is of widespread interest. Indeed, in a mediated world, children and young people are subject to considerable hopes and fears from experts, policymakers and the public. Further, children and young people have attracted a considerable multidisciplinary and increasingly global body of research examining their diverse and changing relations with media – especially digital media. As integrated and advanced primarily by the field of media and communications, the understanding of the mediation of childhood and youth around the world is now addressed through a critical mass of high-quality literature.

This course will critically examine the debates surrounding children, youth and media through the lens of key theories, including moral panics, children’s rights, mediation and mediatization, media effects, child development and socio-cultural approaches. Each year, we will apply these theories, along with relevant evidence, to topical issues relating to childhood and youth – for example, digital play, parental mediation, screen time, online risks and mental health, social media and wellbeing, datafication and digital literacies. The course will also recognise how historical and multidisciplinary perspectives on childhood and youth have been constructed with and through media.