Teresa Sofia Castro e Cristina Ponte publicam capítulo “Be Careful with Whom You Speak to on the Internet”

O livro “Discourses of Anxiety over Childhood and Youth across Cultures” da autoria de Liza Tsaliki e Despina Chronaki, editado pela Springer, inclui um capítulo de Teresa Sofia Castro e Cristina Ponte (ambas investigadoras do ICNOVA) intitulado “Be Careful with Whom You Speak to on the Internet — Framing Anxiety in Parental Mediation, Through Children’s Perspectives in Portugal”.

O livro pode ser comprado ou descarregado aqui:


Chapter 16. “Be Careful with Whom You Speak to on the Internet”—Framing Anxiety in Parental Mediation, Through Children’s Perspectives in Portugal


Not much parental mediation research is informed by children’s views. The overall contribution of this chapter is to offer pre-adolescents’ critical reflections, supported by their own voices on this matter. Despite being receptive to adults’ involvement in their digital lives, children request from parents that their digital freedom, privacy, and autonomy are respected. The data discussed here involve selected situations in which to pre-adolescents’ eyes, the parental intervention can be a source of tension to the child–parent interactions. Participatory strategies were privileged to generate in-depth narrative data. The fieldwork involved 41 (33 girls and 8 boys) pre-adolescent children (mostly aged 10–12 years), mainly from low and medium socioeconomic status. The chapter builds on everyday situations in a stage of their young lives when they start using digital devices for personal and interactive purposes with more autonomy. Approaching the data using thematic and narrative analysis methodologies enabled to identify three central themes: parents’ digital anxieties, media moulds parents’ perceptions and children’s response to parental mediation. As children’s talks show, much of parents’ interventions are influenced by moral panics and anxiety discourses inflamed by the media. The narratives confirm the role media plays and how it impacts the way parents form risk perceptions and react to children’s digital activity. In line with this, parents’ policing approaches tend to arise in response to fears amplified by the media, but also as a response to social expectations on good parenting. The chapter concludes with the paradoxical claim that overprotection challenges children’s own protection, and more social problems may arise from this mismatch between children’s interests and parents’ expectations. Children’s arguments not only inform us of their perspectives, but they also instigate us to support that parental mediation should pursue more positive approaches to children’s digital consumption. Both groups would benefit from learning from each other. Adults can learn from children about technological dexterity, children can benefit from adults’ wisdom to avoid and overcome social problems they may face online and take more advantage of their online participation.

Teresa Sofia Pereira Dias de Castro, Cristina Ponte