Hidden youth? A new perspective on the sociality of young people 'withdrawn' in the bedroom in a digital age

Wong, M. (2020) Hidden youth? A new perspective on the sociality of young people 'withdrawn' in the bedroom in a digital age. New Media and Society, 22(7), pp. 1227-1244. (doi: 10.1177/1461444820912530)

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The complexities and changing experiences of human connections have long been debated. In the digital age, technology becomes an increasingly crucial dimension of sociality. This article critically discusses the sociality of ‘hidden’ young people who shut themselves in the bedroom and are typically assumed to be socially withdrawn. This article challenges this reclusive depiction and presents qualitative evidence from the first study of this phenomenon in the UK/Scottish context, while studying this comparatively across two sites. Thirty-two interviews were conducted with Hong Kong and Scottish youth ‘withdrawn’ in the bedroom for 3 to 48 months; hidden youth’s sociality was found to be more nuanced and interconnected than previously assumed. This article argues that young people can become especially attached to online communities to seek solace and solidarity as they experience social marginalisation. Technology and online networks play an important role in enabling marginalised young people to feel connected in the digital age.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wong, Dr Mark
Authors: Wong, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:New Media and Society
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1461-7315
Published Online:22 July 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Author
First Published:First published in New Media and Society 22(7): 1227-1244
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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