An Intersectional Approach to Children's Experiences with Media & Technology

Diversifying our Understanding

Our Partnership

Research on children's and adolescents' experiences with media and technology have historically relied on information drawn from WEIRD families—Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic. This research base fails to adequately take into account the increasingly diverse populations of many Western countries. As part of a collaboration between researchers at the University of Denver and Northeastern University, we worked to widen the lens through which we examine this crucial topic. 

About Our Research

We leverage cross-institutional collaboration to address some of today’s most pressing challenges, producing interdisciplinary solutions that influence policymakers to effectively serve the public good. From Stanford to UChicago to NYU, we’ve refined our collaborative process through years of mutually beneficial relationships with institutions nationwide to understand and address challenges like climate change, HIV and youth homelessness.

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About the Project

The project, a collaboration between DU's Lynn Schofield Clark and researchers from Northeastern University and Rutgers University, endeavored to move beyond a focus on middle class and majority culture as we work to understand how children and adolescents understand and are shaped by the media landscape that surrounds them. A crucial element of this was a larger examination of the field, and an exploration of the various corrective efforts advanced by scholars across the country. 

In doing so, we found a remarkable range of novel approaches to understanding this issue across social classes, racial and ethic boundaries, and differences in ability. A particular emphasis was put toward examining how scholars conceptualize similarities and differences among families and children in relation to interlocking systems of oppression and privilege. 

Our hope was to challenge deficit-based approaches to cultural and social difference while working to understand how diverse families and young people navigate media and technologies in everyday life. We believe an intersectional, asset-oriented approach to studying lived experiences gives us the opportunity to develop research and solutions that prioritize the rights of children and adolescents.

Discover Research at DU

Lynn Schofield Clark

In addition to her role as a professor at DU's Department of Media, Film, and Journalism Studies, Lynn Schofield Clark also serves as Director of the Estlow International Center for Journalism New Media. Her research interests center on the myriad ways in which consumption of media in the 21st century—particularly local journalism and digital media—influence identity and self-determination in individuals and groups. Her work tackles the role of media in an age of growing income inequality, especially in regard to media consumption by youth.