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Teenagers' Actions and Interactions Online in Central and Eastern Europe

A Research Grant of the National University Research Council (CNCSIS)

by Monica Barbovschi and Maria Diaconescu

The idea that the new communication technologies are able to create new social practices and to shape human behaviour has stirred up multiple controversies and radically opposed side takings, especially when it comes to certain social-demographic categories seen as "risk-prone". Recent tendencies in the evolution of computer mediated technology and web content have led to the rejection of a rigid technological determinism and instead, they have shifted the discourse towards a consideration of various influences on behavior and actions, both online and offline.

"Risks and Effects of Internet Use among Children and Adolescents. The Perspective of Evolution towards the Knowledge Society" is a 2-year research project financed by the Romanian Ministry of Education under a CNCSIS (National University Research Council) grant scheme (2007-2008) that proposes an inventory of types of uses, gratifications and effects generated by the Internet use in Romania, with specific focus on the categories of children and teenagers, strongly represented among the Internet users, categories that most certainly present specific problems and risks.

A special attention was given to the gender perspective in the context of Internet use. According to the theoretical developments in this area, the research team joined the position that contests a neat and useful distinction between the real life and the one spent in front of the computer (online), as these two levels are obviously intertwined, with uses and interactions characterized by dynamism, continuity, fluidity.

The research team consists of faculty members and graduate students from the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work of the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, as following: project director, Prof. Dr. Maria Roth and members of the research team - Senior Lecturer Cristina Baciu, Senior Lecturer Bela Szabo, Senior Lecturer Imola Antal, Teaching Assistant Maria Diaconescu, doctoral students Mihai Bogdan Iovu, Diana Damean and Monica Barbovschi.
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Available on the website since December 16, 2008