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PhD project Departing from narratives of young people, the aim of this thesis is to deepen the knowledge about the meaning of their social interactions in social media.
In this qualitative study, young people’s interactions when they use social media are studied in a Swedish context. The study constitutes an important contribution since it makes young people’s voices heard. It is based on semi-structured interviews with 32 young people aged 13-15.
The results show that young people do not use the term bullying when they define a situation that is of a negative nature. They use other terms such as hate and drama to define a situation they perceive to be negative, both in situations when they themselves are involved and in situations when they are among the audience. It depends on how they define the situation. Explanations for why drama, hate and negative actions occur can be understood based on on-going relation-building work and an effort to fit into a certain peer culture. The results also indicate that it is important to receive attention from significant others. In interaction with others, social skills are developed to navigate drama, hate, friendship, negative actions and relation-building efforts in social media.
Social norms, gender norms and negotiating identities come to expression when the young people discuss self-presentations in pictures.
Explanations as to why they choose to publish a certain kind of picture can be linked with complex relationship and identity construction processes where the young peoples position themselves and others in the struggle to doing gender and a desire to participate in a certain peer culture.