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Listening to excluded young people's perspectives on how digital technologies support and challenge their lives

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date2010
JournalTheory of Social Intervention : Theory and Practice
Number of pages18
Original languageEnglish


This article reports on the perspectives of young people who have been excluded from school on how ICTs support and challenge them in their everyday lives. Qualitative in-depth semistructured interviews were carried out with 13 young people at a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU). The analysis provides a nuanced account of young people’s online activities for those who are already experiencing an offline “participation gap” in the form of exclusion from mainstream schooling. It will show that whilst most of the young people interviewed had good access to a range of digital technologies, their attitudes towards different technologies varied greatly, as did their online activities, digital literacy competence – especially regarding risky behaviour – and the support that they could rely on from friends and family when needing help with ICTs. It will argue that interventions should continue which provide access to ICTs – particularly the internet – at home and school for young people whose families cannot otherwise afford them. Nevertheless, digital literacy programs which run alongside such initiatives are essential if excluded young people are
really to benefit from the opportunities that ICTs can offer.

Bibliographic note

Copyright: this work has been published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Netherlands License