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Latino Youth Digitally Mediated Everyday Lives: Understanding Diverse Forms of Participation in Networked Culture and Society.

Understanding Hispanic/Latino Youth Participation with/through Digital Media : literacy practices in Everyday Life.

Digital Media, Hispanic/Latino Youth, and Socio-Cultural Participation: Understanding Media Practices and Literacies in Everyday Life.

Digital Media, Working class Hispanic/Latino Youth, and Participation: understanding multiliteracies and sociocultural capitals in everyday life.

Digital Media, Hispanic/Latino Youth, and Participation: literacy practices and capitals in everyday life.

Everyday practices, multiliteracies, and sociocultural capitals: understanding participation and the diverse uses of digital media among hispanic/latino youth.

Latino/hispanic youth, digital media practices and participation: understanding diverse literacies and capitals in the networked culture and society.

Problem Statement

Provide a one- to two-paragraph statement that is the result of a review of research findings and current practice and that contains the following information:

1. A logical argument for the need to address an identified gap in the research literature that has relevance to the discipline and area of practice.

Understanding diversity of new literacies and digital media practices among youth. Study an understudied minority population of hispanic/latino youth from Mexican origin and working class families. Describe the texture of their digitally mediated lives, especially in not-school contexts : home, afterschool, and mobile. Understanding their identities, literacy practices, and participation in different social realms: afterschool, home, and SNSs. And the interrelation among those different realms. Different spheres of action. Two very physical realms : afterschool and home. Two online realms : the search engine and social media sites.

There is little account of the new literacies and practices of this segment of the youth population in the USA. As a growing population, it is important to understand it and to see how they are participating in culture and society. What are the conditions under where they participate.

Although the current generation of young people is usually described as digitally literate, savvy, and digital natives, they are actually not homogeneous at all.

Claims of a more participatory culture and the potential of new digital media and networked environment have been made. This research project tries to understand what are the opportunities that young people is in fact really getting as they use and acquire new literacies, as they enter the networked environment, as they browse the web.

Some data also reveals that the digital is being closed as access to technology has increased among the hispanic/latino population. However, the divide is way more complex than material access. In this project I acknowledge such complexity by looking at the nuances in usage, as well as the diverse kind of literacies that are needed in order to participate in culture and society.

The previous MacArthur work placed a great deal of focus on interest-driven forms of participation. But most of the interest-based case studies presented in Hanging Out are drawn from middle-class milieus. That is, from young people, homes, and practices (i.e., modding, machinima, fan-fiction, robotics, etc.) that are generally marked by whiteness and privilege.

Studies of youth digital media practices, of their generation, describe a pretty homogenous population. The stereotypes of digital natives, google generation, net generation, describe a pretty homogenous population. The same with the term latino and hispanics. There is a need for recognizing the diversity of the latino/hispanic population. Even in a population in where the country of origin is the same, as Mexico, there is diversity inside it. This study intends to understand such diversity.

2. Preliminary evidence that provides justification that this problem is meaningful to the discipline or professional field. Provide three to five key citations that highlight the relevance and currency of the problem.

Several findings that talk about new literacies, new media literacies, multiliteracies. There is a lot of research, a burgeoning research on the kind of new languages, forms and modes of communication. Especially the informal one, and the relation with popular culture, and participation.

There are studies, data, quantitative studies that reveal that young people is using new technologies. There are also several stories of successful cases of youth entrepreunershio, content creators, etc.

Evidence that there are more subtle inequities among teenagers that manifest themselves in differences in the quality (levels) of Internet access, usage, literacies.

Despite being raised in the “digital age,” some youth are surprisingly lacking in their online search skills and other new literacies. Now all youth is having the literacies. And literacies are also not enough for participating, finding opportunities, empowering. Hence, the complexity of the divide, it is not access, it is not literacies, it is not participation. Participation is fluid and complex.

Since Latinos are one of the fastest-growing populations in the country, it’s imperative that we address the challenges that this community faces.

Theoretical evidence:

  • Complexity and diverisity of digital divide : participation gap (Jenkings, Hargitai), socio-economic and cultural forces that stratify, determine, contraint, technological access, use, and skills (Van Dijk, Livingstone)
  • Complexity of literacies : digital literacies (buckingham, ), new media literacies, internet literacies, multiliteracies (New London Group), DML (Gee, Jenkins, Ito,), new literacies (Lankshear and Knobel, 2006)
  • Youth and digital media : genres of participation (Ito et. al.), networked publics (boyd), practice
  • Participation: complexity (Carpentier), participatory culture (JEnkins),
  • Networked and convergence : economy and society (Benkler, Castells), culture (Varnellis, Ito, Jenkins), media (shift in the distribution of communicative resources: dispersed, decentralized, easily available)
  • Literacies as sociocultural practices, a social phenomenon: the New Literacy Studies ( Barton, 1994; Gee; Street, 1984)

Data and facts:

  • PEW research on teens: social media use, mobile, accessing the internet.
  • PEW hispanic center: latino increasingly using digital media, adopting technology.
  • Changing demographics of internet users: access at home, at school, at mobile. Anytime anywhere access to the internet.

3. The overall purpose or intention of the study.

• In qualitative studies, describe the need for increased understanding about the issue to be studied, based on the identified gap or problem.

seeks to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic/Latino population and to describe hispani/Latinos youth literacy practices and digital media use in everyday live, in particular across three microfields or arenas or spaces or settings: home, afterschool, and the internet.

attention to diversity: sociologically grounded account, understanding divergent conditions of participation (genre, socioeconomic background, family educational background, capitals).

describe the socio-economic and cultural forces that stratify, determine, contraint, technological access, use, and skills in convergence, networked media environment. Demographic, socioeconomic and cultural characteristics: education, income, and locations

develop grounded sociological and cultural analysis of what latino/hispanic youth are doing with, through, and around digital media.

understand how the affordances of digital media and the networked environment are used by a particular social group and community : Mexican origin latino/hispanic youth (already diverse).

take into account" class, gender, ethinc and other hierarchies that characterize social spaces

understand : consumption (information and media), production (video), curation and distribution (social media), and the literacy practices that come with them. Understanding them as sociocultural practices.

understanding the transformations that are under way, the politics of them, the glances of the networked culture, of the new literacies, of participation.

Thick description of the mediated sociocultural practices that hispanic/latino youth do with digital media in their everyday lifes and their patterns of participation, across three specific social realms, fields, settings:

  • home]/household/family (domestic and private sphere)
  • afterschool (peer group and the setting of the not-school learning space)
  • the internet : (search engine and social network sites) (practices that are done online, through human computer interaction) (multimodality, cut and past, curating, filtering, scrapping, querying)

I would also describe the identities that they articulate and develop as they participate in these social fields or arenas. And describe the genres of participation that they develop when using this digital media.

This dissertation will compose three to four case studies based on the ethnographic work made by the Digital Edge Project, an longitudinal ethnography of young people’s new media ecologies and participation in digital media cultures.

offer some evidenced-based research on how issues of diversity, equity, and technology have evolved. Document the assertion that “not all new media ecologies are equal"

What are the key issues today as we think about the transition from the digital divide to participation gaps? Even as a more diverse community of young people are using new media technologies what challenges still persist?

How are latino-hispnic youth from engaging in forms of peer-driven, interest-driven, family-driven participation with digital media? How are they participating in interest-driven forms of learning?

What kind of digital media cultures represent spheres of interest-driven participation? Where are latino-hispanic youth building dynamic learning ecologies around? what kind of interests are driven their participation in/with/through digital media?

Do they belong to interest-driven communities? What do they learn in those communities? The best interest-driven communities are incubators of innovation, “communities of practice” that foster the development of 21st century social, civic, and technology skills.

How do class, ethnicity, and ethnicity shape the engagement of latino/hispanic youth with digital media? their literacy practices? what are the opportunities or participation that they find? what kind of participation is the one they are having? what kind of literacy practices are they developing, acquiring, using?

issues related to technology, equity, and diversity

understand how digital media contributes to the production of privilege.

How does class intersect with claims of digital democracy?

Understand how digital production inequality suggests that elite voices still dominate in the new digital commons.


Provide one to two paragraphs, informed by the topic in the problem statement, which describe(s):

1. How this study will contribute to filling the gap identified in the problem statement—What original contribution will this study make?

Ethnographic study. Grounded terminology. Account of diversity. Understand needs. Nuanced description of the sociocultural practices. Understanding complexity of digital divide, participation gap, inequalities in usage, access, and skills. Describe texture of everyday life across social realms, settings, arenas, sites. Understand diverse forms of participation through/with/around digital media. Understand the imporance of family for hispanic/latino youth.

Methodologically this project will give new insights into media practice and literacy research. To capture the multifaceted world of multiliteracies, I have chosen theoretical frameworks that originate in different fields of study: sociology, anthropology, linguistics, and media education.

The project benefit those interested in hispanic/latino youth, digital media, literacies and media education and teaching materials development. It contributes to understand how to prepare young people for the contemporary and future literacy practices. Understand what are the missing pieces of the puzzle.

It will also offer a solid research basis for teaching and carrying out practical new literacy projects in low-income and low performign schools and communities – especially with immigrant students.

It will give researchers, teachers, and policy makers tools to understand the complexity of digital inequalities, gaps, complexity of participation, the fuid character of identity.

Help to promote multicultural understanding through diverse literacy practices.

Understand the quality of engagement and participation of latino-hispanic youth (a particular group of latino-hispanic students sample) in culture and society. In particular, across three specific social fields, realms or arenas : family, an aftershoool program, and the internet (social media sites and search engine). Develop case studies of latino-hispanic youth acting, exercising agency, participating in these realms with/through/in media.

2. How this research will support professional practice or allow practical application— Answer the So what? question.

Useful for teachers, researchers, policy makers, practitioners, parents. How can we create more opportunities? How the conditions of participating can be improved? Undersntand the importance of the constelation of literacies in action, not a single one.

Changing demographics, mean that hispanic/latino will be the majority in schools soon.

Help parents, organizations that care about hispanics/latino, policy makers, teachers, latino/hispanic information providers.

Spur conversation, research, and development of best practices with regards to digital media use by Hispanic/Latino youth.

Understand the opportunities that latino/hispanic youth are getting as they develop digital media practices. What are the opportunities they get? Do they really grasp the opportunities? Can they really be empowered even in the lack of social and cultural capitals, and weak literacy skills and knowledge? How can that be fixed? What is what young people from this communities really need in order to success?

3. How the claim aligns with the problem statement to reflect the potential relevance of this study to society—How might the potential findings lead to positive social change?

Importance of understanding the complexity of multilitaracies, the interrelation between literacy practices, and its relevance for social and cultural participation. Understanding these literacies in a disadvantaged youth population, in a specific segmented population, in their everyday lives, can reveal the inequalities that exist in current society.

The results can shape policy, education, and pedagogies. How can these youth become fully participants? how can they acquire, use, and understand the interrelation between literacies? What is needed? Why do we need to teach new literacies at school?

Demonstrating the relationship of multiliteracies to social and cultural capital also reveals how structural inequalities of society reproduce.

Implications for research and practice. Theoretical and applied.

Literacies as a social and cultural practice are not only learned in formal education. They are used and acquired in the everyday. Ethnography becomes very appropriate for understanding them.

Understanding, especifically, the literacies related to digitally mediated participation in culture and society.

A particular population that is diverse, is growing, but is also a cultural minority, usually in working class position. Hence, a disadvantage class position.

Implications for research and practice. Theoretical and applied. Researchers are seeking to offer an approach to pedagogy which draws on understandings that have emerged from the broad range of literacy research.

Researching literacy is necessarily a complex activity. Depending on how one defines literacy, the particular aspects one wish to explore, and the categories that one wants to observe in a given context, change. Observing literacy practices as well as analysing self-reported accounts of these practices.

In order to move beyond this level and towards explaining and accounting for participants’ activities, the researcher’s language of description has to act as ‘a translation for, rather than a simple reduplication of the language of the researched’.


Provide a representative list of scholarship and findings that support the main assertions in the problem statement, highlighting their relationship to the topic (e.g., “This variable was studied with a similar sample by Smith (2010) and Johnson (2008),” or “Jones’s (2011) examination of industry leaders showed similar trends in the same key segments.”).

Intersection of fields of digital media and learning, participation, and youth.

Findings on the importance of stratification for media use, in particular related to the internet skills. Digital inequalities are related to social status, positionality, and background.

Cite studies of latino/hispanic youth as well as of general digital youth, and literacies.


In one paragraph, describe the theoretical base or conceptual framework in the scholarly literature that will ground the study. Base this description on the problem, purpose, and background of your study. This theory or framework informs, and is informed by, the research question(s) and helps to identify research design decisions, such as the method of inquiry and data collection and analysis.

Research Question(s)

List the question or a series of related questions that are informed by the study purpose, which will lead to the development of what needs to be done in this study and how it will be accomplished. A research question informs the research design by providing a foundation for:

  • Generation of hypotheses in quantitative studies,
  • Questions necessary to build the design structure for qualitative studies, and a

Are there differences in the media use habits of boys versus girls, or among Black, White, and Hispanic youth?

Nature of the Study

Using one of the following terms as a subheading, provide a concise paragraph that discusses the approach that will be used to address the research question(s) and how this approach aligns with the problem statement. The subheadings and examples of study design are:

• Qualitative—for ethnography, case study, grounded theory, narrative inquiry, phenomenological research, or policy analysis.

Drawing on the data from a longitudinal ethnography at a public high school.

Observations, interviews, focus groups, participatory ethnography with a group o youth.

Focusing on the latino/hispanic youth from this sample, that ended up being all of Mexican origin.

Elaborate a series of case studies for each chapter, for studying each context/realm/arena of media use.

Possible Types and Sources of Information or Data

Provide a list of possible types and sources of information or data for this study, such as test scores from college students, employee surveys, observations of children, interviews with practitioners, historical documents from state records, deidentified medical records, or information from a federal database.

Drawing data from the Digital Edge project. A longitudinal ethnography.

Possible Analytical Strategies (Optional)

Provide some possible ways to organize and analyze the results obtained by the research strategies detailed previously. A few examples of possible analytical strategies include multiple regression, content analysis, and meta-analysis.

Other Information (Optional)

Provide any other relevant information, such as challenges or barriers that may need to be addressed when conducting this study.

main claim


Include references formatted in the correct style (APA sixth edition, modeled at the end of this guide) for all citations within the Dissertation Prospectus.