Young People, Online Networks, and Social Inclusion


  • Tanya Notley


This paper examines the ways 9 teenage Australians—identified as being ‘at risk’ of social exclusion—are using online networks to participate in society. The research finds that online networks provided participants with valuable opportunities for social inclusion. These findings are contextualized in relation to current Australian Government education and social policies that, on the one hand, aspire to support young people's social inclusion, and on the other restrict their ability to use online networks because of safety and health concerns. This study contends that by defining and understanding the social value of young people's online network use we can move toward a policy framework that not only addresses potential online risks, but supports equitable digital inclusion for young people.