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date: 03 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Mobile devices play a growing role in the everyday lives of children around the world, prompting important questions about their effects on childhood experiences. Exploring the recent global trends in children’s use of smartphone devices, the authors examine the reconfiguring of children’s communicative practices and cultures of connectivity, documenting the opportunities and risks that smartphone technology affords. Throughout the chapter the authors challenge the notion of “digital childhoods,” drawing on the most reliable research on children and smartphones including findings from Global Kids Online, which suggest that digital divides intersect with existing social inequalities, exacerbating the barriers for less privileged children. This raises further questions about the long-term consequences for children’s development, rights, and future access to opportunities and resources.

Keywords: childhood, mobile technology, communicative practice, online risk, online opportunities

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