'I Don't Have Anything to Hide, But...': The Challenges and Negotiations of Social and Mobile Media Privacy for Non-Dominant Youth

Information, Communication & Society, 2014

28 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2014 Last revised: 11 Dec 2014

Jacqueline Vickery

University of North Texas; University of Texas at Austin

Date Written: November 30, 2014

Abstract

Drawing from interviews and focus groups with teens in a low-income and ethnically diverse high school in central Texas, this paper explores the unique social privacy challenges and strategies of low-income and non-dominant youth. Situating the research in a broader context in which non-dominant teens are increasingly surveilled, I demonstrate how teens manage social privacy in at least three ways. First, they negotiate liminal boundaries of what constitutes a communal or shareable mobile device, which are structured around financial constraints. Second, through nonuse, they actively resist the ways mobile and social media reconfigure social and physical spaces. Third, they deliberately use multiple platforms as a way to cope with evolving privacy settings, social norms, and technological affordances; this is a deliberate strategy intended to resist social convergence. Because low-income and non-dominant youth are increasingly surveilled by adults, peers, and institutions, it is imperative that they find spaces that afford greater freedom of expression, interest-based communities, and privacy.

Keywords: social media, surveillance, privacy, teens, mobile technology, race, digital divide

Suggested Citation

Vickery, Jacqueline, 'I Don't Have Anything to Hide, But...': The Challenges and Negotiations of Social and Mobile Media Privacy for Non-Dominant Youth (November 30, 2014). Information, Communication & Society, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2535998

Jacqueline Vickery (Contact Author)

University of North Texas ( email )

1155 Union Circle #305340
Denton, TX 76203
United States

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States

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