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Online journals as virtual bedrooms? Young people, identity and personal space

Hodkinson, Paul and Lincoln, S (2008) Online journals as virtual bedrooms? Young people, identity and personal space Young: Nordic Journal of Young Research, 16 (1). pp. 27-46.

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This paper considers the increasing importance of personal, individualized spaces in the lives and identities of young people through a comparative examination of the contemporary use of the physical space of the bedroom and the ‘virtual’ territory of the online journal. Particularly popular among those in their teens and early twenties, online journals constitute an interactive form of web log whose content tends to be dominated by reflections upon the everyday experiences, thought and emotions of their individual owner. We propose here that such online journals often take on for their users the symbolic and practical properties of individually owned and controlled space – something we illustrate through a comparison with young people’s uses of the primary individual centred physical space in their lives – the bedroom. This discussion is informed by research by each of the authors, on young people’s bedrooms and on the use of online journals respectively. The paper identifies and explores understandings and functions of these two spaces for young people, identifying a number of apparent similarities in their use. Through doing so, we illustrate the potential value of the bedroom as a prism through which to understand online journal use at the same time as helping to illuminate the general significance of personal space to the lives and identities of contemporary young people.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Lincoln, S
Date : February 2008
DOI : 10.1177/110330880701600103
Copyright Disclaimer : This is an electronic version of an article published as Hodkinson P, Lincoln S (2008). Online journals as virtual bedrooms? Young people, identity and personal space. Young: Nordic Journal of Young Research 16(1):27-46. Available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords : bedrooms, identity, Internet, online journals, space, youth, CULTURE
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 14 Jun 2012 13:24
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 16:32

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