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This research explored children’s perceptions of risk and mobile phones and contributes to knowledge and understanding in the field of sociology of childhood and socio-technical studies. Previous research on childhood and risk supports many aspects of Beck’s (1992) ‘risk society’ thesis as parents and children conceptualise risk within public and private spheres (Hood, Kelley, Mayall, Oakley, & Morrell, 1996); children are reflexive in their conceptualisations of risk (Harden, 2000) and through risk management or risk-taking behaviours achieve identity as individuals and as members of cultural groups (Green, 1997a). It’s only as stupid as you are: Children’s and adults’ negotiation of ICT competence at home and at school. According to Giddens (1991), in order to prevent the generalised risk climate from impinging upon life circumstances, individuals develop a protective cocoon of basic trust. He developed Goffman’s (1971) notion of Umwelt, which corresponds to a system of references to describe how the protective cocoon of trust is constructed by individuals. 37) describe as social constructivist research viewing children as “subjective, contextual, self-determining and dynamic” and it endeavours to understand how the worlds of children operate by describing and analysing the contextualised social phenomena found there. The findings are presented following Strauss and Corbin’s (1998) suggestion that developing theory is a process, one which is based on an ‘interplay’ between inductions from the data (theory building) and offering an explanation about phenomena. 45) argued that both discourse and academic debate on children and technology have been dominated by technological determinism. Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and technique (2nd ed.). Through risk profiling, sometimes deferring in space and time, individuals deflect potentially hazardous consequences and maintain a viable Umwelt.
Livingstone and Bober (2004) note that parents employ methods to promote safe internet use such as locating the computer in a public area of the house and attempt to monitor their children’s use of the Internet.
The children in the research were reflexive in their understanding of risk and mobile phones and actively managed risk through their mobile phone use.
Their accounts highlight the complex, multifarious relationships of the heterogeneous networks of the technical, the social and the natural that constitute children's everyday lives.
However, Valentine and Holloway (2001) suggest adults and children have very different perspectives on ICTs and, whilst adults are concerned about the future, children are interested in the present and the social relationships within which they have to manage their own identities. Doing IT for the kids: Re-examining children, computers and the information society.
Paradoxes additionally appear elsewhere and, whilst the mobile telephone is associated with privacy, freedom, security (Ling, 2000; Charlton, Panting, & Hannan, 2002), recent research reveals complex aspects of the relationships between mobile phone technology, children and parents.