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Childhoods in transition: Mediating "in between spaces"

30.05.2019 18:28 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Special issue of Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture

Deadline extended: June 15, 2019

Guest Editors: Annamária Neag and Richard Berger (Bournemouth University, UK)

Discussions on the relationship between children & youth and (social) media have predominantly focused on issues involving online safety, self-image, media use and media literacy (e.g. Canty et al, 2016; Hoge & Bickham, 2017; Livingstone et al, 2017; Nikkon & Schols, 2015;). However, less attention has been cast on the mediated experiences of children and youth in what we call ‘in between spaces’. These ‘in between’ spaces can be both physical (e.g. migrating from one country to another), and more intangible or abstract, such as re-negotiating gender.

We know that childhood and adolescence are transitional states, which, for many, are often contradictory and difficult. Research shows that children and teenagers have a fluid and interdependent relationship with both the world around them and the technologies they are using (Rooney, 2012). The work of Turkle (2011) and latterly Sefton-Green and Livingstone (2017) highlights, for instance, that young people often turn to the online world as it has “intense individual meanings” (p. 245) for them, away from the school and the home. In this space then, new identities are constantly re-negotiated. As one study found, teenagers use selfies as tools for both confirming heteronormativity and for renegotiating and mocking gender norms (Forsman, 2017). In the ‘in between spaces’ of migrating youth then, social media is seen to play a vital role for maintaining social links with friends and families, and with new acquaintances in the receiving societies (Kutscher & Kress, 2018).

For this special issue, we are seeking contributions which explore and map the ‘in between’ spaces children and youth negotiate in their everyday lived media experiences. We seek articles which research how (social) media and digital technology is used/deployed in these spaces, as tools of negotiation and transaction. For this special issue, we are interested in seeing how these relationships are influenced or changed because of social platforms and digital technologies.

We would welcome expressions of interest from academics working in these fields, as well as practitioners and those who work with directly with children/childhood in these ‘in between spaces’ (e.g. those from NGO/charity sectors).

Submissions may cover, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The transitioning of young people/youth through foster care;
  • Unaccompanied minor asylum-seekers and migrant youth settling in a new country;
  • Re-negotiating gender (including trans/non-binary transition);
  • Children and young people who are transitioning between being
  • home-schooled or from having been educated in isolated communities;
  • The negotiating of new identities, such as becoming step-son/daughter, step-brother/sister;
  • Transition from high school to university/labour market


Please write a 300-word statement of the overall concept of your study, its thematic coherence and especially how it relates to the aims and scope of the call, carefully articulating the transition under discussion in a well-defined mediated ‘in between’ space. Please include your name, institutional affiliation and contact details. The deadline for sending in the proposals is the 15th of June 2019. The abstracts should be sent to both Dr. Annamária Neag ( and Dr. Richard Berger (

A selection of authors will be invited to submit a full paper (from 6000-8000 words, including references) due on the 15th of October 2019.

All submissions will be peer-reviewed, and the issue is scheduled for publication in November 2020.

Please make sure to follow the Intellect Style Guide and requirements for images, graphs and tables available at

All inquiries about this Call for Papers can be addressed to Dr. Annamária Neag ( and Dr. Richard Berger (



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