What we do

Mediamix, heft, laptop, handy

The overall goal of #YouthMediaLife is to enable interdisciplinary research into the role of stories and narratives in young people's everyday media usage. Particularly, the research platform investigates into how such mediated narratives contribute to social connections, to the (co-)¬construction of selves and others (identities) as well as to processes of learning and appropriation.

We take a contemporary media-theoretical perspective that does not consider media as a priori products that can be investigated in isolation from the social context they are part of. Rather, we regard media as part and parcel of people's social reality, of the social changes they find themselves in, and of their mutual positioning practices. In other words, we regard media as constitutive of their users' and producers' lifeworlds, which we consider to be highly mediatised lifeworlds.

Based on this, we believe that media practices are a powerful way of appropriating knowledge and skills which relate to the formation of lifeworlds, to media literacies, and to social relations. These processes are nowhere as salient as with young people, teenagers, who are often referred to as "digital natives" – a problematic label, though, which obscures the fact that young people's media practices are hybrid and not limited to digital media at all.

We are interested in the multi-medial and multi-modal universes and networks that young people participate in, in the way they simultaneously construct and consume the narratives on offer, and in the complex processes that unfold as young people appropriate knowledge, skills and competences through their mediatised lifeworlds.
This is only feasible from an interdisciplinary perspective and through close cooperation across the disciplines.