Vol. 12 No. 2 (2021): MEDIA EDUCATION – Studi, ricerche e buone pratiche
Articles

Pratiche mediali, social media e influencers nella formazione e nell’espressione identitaria dei bambini: una ricerca esplorativa

Elena Pacetti
Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Educazione, Università di Bologna
Alessandro Soriani
Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Educazione, Università di Bologna
Published November 29, 2021
Keywords
  • influencers,
  • social media,
  • primary school,
  • identity

Abstract

With the spread of social media, we witnessed the multiplication of web’s figures such as influencers and content creators. The pupils in the last years of primary schools (9-11 years old), engaged in a complex task of defining their own identity, are strongly exposed to entertainment contents conveyed by social networks and online video platforms. The present exploratory study, which involved 173 students from a primary school in Emilia-Romagna Region (Italy), aims to investigate the role of social media and influencers in the formation and expression of the identities of children, highlighting a universe little known and only superficially explored by teachers and adults with educational roles. The contribution has the twofold objective of: investigating children’s practices related to social networks (in particular those based on video content such as YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat) to offer an overview of the situation in an age group increasingly targeted by these social networks; making a reflection on how much the figures of content creators and influencers play a role in the identity formation of children in 4th and 5th year of primary school. The results lead to new research questions and educational path to make teachers and parents more aware of this issue.

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