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Majoring in Change

Young People Use Social networking to reflect on High School, College and Work


Allison Butler

This volume presents a long-term qualitative study that follows 20 New York City public high school students as they make the transition into college and work. The primary data are the young people’s reflections on high school, how they felt unprepared for college or career, and the subsequent work they have done in order to succeed. The text critiques the current state of secondary and university education, especially the neoliberal emphasis on private industry and competition. However, it claims that a critical media literacy intervention can provide young people with the skills to challenge their environments and realize they are part of, not apart from, larger social issues. One unique feature of the text is its datagathering method: Stories are culled from in-person interviews and, most importantly, electronic interviews conducted on Facebook. The research was conducted, and this book written, to illustrate the very real struggles and socioeconomic challenges of young people and works to create proactive, productive change on their behalf.