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eYouth

Balancing between Opportunities and Risks

Wannes Heirman, Sara Mels, Christiane Timmerman, Heidi Vandenbosch and Michel Walrave

The omnipresence of ICT in modern households has provided children and adolescents with plenty of opportunities for education, entertainment and contact. This young age group, however, is increasingly confronted with a range of online risks relating to personal contact and inappropriate content. This duality was the central thread of an international multidisciplinary conference from which this book presents a selection of excellent papers.
After providing the reader with a typology of the benefits of and threats arising from young people’s internet use, the book elaborates on the issue of online access and the extent to which the young use ICT in their daily lives. The authors also consider the opportunities young people now have to use and produce online content, as well as the tremendous contact opportunities offered by social network sites. Alongside these opportunities, risks such as cyberbullying are examined too. The final part of the book is devoted to young people’s empowerment and protection. The roles of parents, schools and governments are scrutinized in the context of allowing young people to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of the internet.