EXTERNALLY FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS
Young women’s online experiences of learning about gender inequality
Online culture is central to how young people form their identities and learn about inequalities and divisions in society. This project will investigate the ways in which young women learn about gender inequality through online social media groups and discussion forums. Because information is easily accessible to digitally connected young people, it has changed how young people acquire knowledge outside of formal educational institutions. However, the information used online to analyse social division and inequality is often polarised, personalised, and difficult to verify. This presents challenges for young people and wider society in learning how to engage with the sources of information that shape their lives. The project will produce evidence on the benefits and challenges in using online knowledge to navigate experiences of gender inequality. The social benefits of the project include practical guidelines for assessing, analysing and using online political knowledge. These guidelines should be of use to young people, government, and community and industry stakeholders working with young people.
This project aims to investigate how young women engage with socially significant knowledge about gender inequality in social media groups and online discussion forums, and how they use this knowledge. This project expects to generate new knowledge by explaining how online environments shape knowledge acquisition for young people, using an innovative digital ethnographic approach. Expected outcomes include practical guidelines for assessing the positive and negative aspects of online culture as a pedagogical resource. This should provide significant benefits in helping young people to better navigate online cultures and to recognise, negotiate and, wherever possible, overcome gender-based inequality in their lives.