Contesting Control: Key Concepts

Part of the Studies in Childhood and Youth book series (SCY)


In this chapter, we lay out the key concepts through which we conceive and make sense of the diverse sites and themes that are explored in the remainder of this book. We firstly outline in detail what we mean by the ‘control paradigm’. Next, we take up the question of the import of the digital for adult framings of the social world, interrogating the ways both young people and the digital are constructed as exceptional. We then define the digital and elaborate our concept of the (digital) everyday, before turning to two other key concepts that underpin this study, namely, risk and resilience. Here, we are concerned with how we might reframe the idea of risk in order to better account for the role it plays in young people’s (digital) everyday. We argue that we need to move beyond framings of risk that connect young people’s digital practices with potential harms, and open up towards the ways that risk might also be a condition for opportunities for young people navigating the digital world. We argue that those with an investment in supporting young people’s digital practices must work towards forms of (digital) resilience that enable young people to grapple effectively with the risks—and thereby leverage the benefits—of the digital. We suggest that David Chandler’s (2014b) idea of ‘resilience thinking’ might help adults to achieve this. Lastly, we draw on the work of Hannah Arendt to conceptualize an ethical orientation to the idea of young people.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.University of Western SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Deakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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