Changing Patterns: A Socio-Cultural Study of Teenage Girls' Use of the Internet

Ms Fenia Frangoulidou
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This study examines how teenage girls use the Internet and discusses the cases of four Greek senior high school girls that appear to be "heavy Internet users" in comparison with their female colleagues. Within the context of an on-going research about Greek teen Internet users, the first findings have revealed gender to be playing a decisive role in teens' engagement with the medium. Given that Information and Communication Technologies are almost a necessity for those who seek the power to affect the future (Gilbert 2001), more information is needed about females who are attracted to the Internet and obtain the skills for a successful future. However, gender differences in the use of the Internet have been earlier pointed out in literature. More specifically, regarding the Internet's social function, differentiations in preferences (chats, on line games, emails) and in type of participation (anonymous/ gender switching, enjoyable/practical), between boys and girls, (Brunnet & Bennett 1997, Danet et al. 1997, Herring 1999), have been explored but mainly concerning economically developed countries like the USA, Australia or the United Kingdom. On the other hand, countries like Greece present peculiarities, which have to do mainly with the strong patriarchal social structures and the weak feminist tradition. Accordingly, the paper reviews research made on the use of the Internet by teenage girls and addresses questions of how young Greek girls choose the Internet to spend their time, what kind of pleasure they get and what effects this has to their social life and behaviour.

Keywords: Internet, Youth, Identity
Stream: Community, Culture, Globalisation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Changing Patterns

Ms Fenia Frangoulidou

PhD student, Philosophy and Education, Faculty of Education , Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Ref: L05P0872