"My parents check my profile": How italian girls negotiate parental discourses in online activities

Arianna Mainardi*, Tonny Krijnen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

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Abstract

Girls’ online activities are a topic of heated debate on sexualisation, in which girls’ own voices are rarely heard. We draw attention to two aspects of this debate. First, there seem to be opposing perspectives on the position of girls as either girl-at-risk or as ‘empowered girl’. We adopt a poststructuralist approach and attempt to empirically contribute to a dialogic understanding of agency and structure. Second, the sexualisation debate is embedded in a specific neoliberal climate that is locally nuanced. The Italian context magnifies the double standard and emphasises the importance of the family, constructing a complex power system which girls need to navigate. In this study we explore how girls negotiate their online identities (on social network sites such as Facebook) in tandem with parental discourses. In total 32 girls (15 and 18 years of age) were interviewed. Results show that parental discourses take different shapes but always intervene in girls’ online activities. Simultaneously, girls find direct and indirect strategies to circumvent these structures. This shows not only girls’ ability and capabilities to handle the ‘risky’ online environment and the multiple shapes of agency within a specific power configuration, but also that local spaces intersect in interesting ways.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIdentities and Intimacies on Social Media
Subtitle of host publicationTransnational Perspectives
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis Ltd
Chapter2
Pages32-48
Number of pages17
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9781003250982
ISBN (Print)9781032169125
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2022

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