The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age tells the story of a year in the lives of an ordinary class of 13 to 14-year olds in a suburban, multi-ethnic London school. In classic ethnographic form, the book follows them at home, at school and with their friends and shows how the young people negotiate the pressures, opportunities and constraints of these intersecting worlds.
The book explores the ways in which digital technology is now woven into the fabric of personal, educational and social lives, for better or for worse. Contrary to the worries of many parents, the research shows that face-to-face conversation is reframed but far from replaced by today’s youth. And contrary to much media hyperbole, the research traces the various ways in which adults and young people work hard to maintain boundaries between their worlds rather than seek to participate in a utopia of infinite possible connections.
In this short video, Sonia and Julian talk about why and how they conducted the research for the book (which you can read for free online) and what impact they hope the book might have. It was also included in the recent Connected Youth and Digital Futures book series launch event. They have begun, and will continue, to blog about the book on this site. And they discuss more findings with fellow book-series author Henry Jenkins here.