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Harm in everyday experiences with technology. A qualitative study with school-aged children

Study details

Year: 2014
Scope: National
Countries: Portugal
Methodology: Empirical research – Qualitative
Methods of data collection: Focus group; Participatory; Interview
Researched Groups: Children
Children Ages: Other
Other Childrens Age Group: 6-15 years old
Funder: Foundation for Science and Technology
Funder Types: Foundation
Has Formal Ethical Clearance: Yes
Consents: Consent obtained from parents; Consent obtained from teachers / caretakers; Consent obtained from children
Informed Consent: Consent obtained
Ethics: Ethical considerations and/or protocol mentioned in the research design; Ethical issues flagged in the paper
Data Set Availability: Data availability statement in the publication
Data Set Link:


This qualitative study is a PhD thesis which received a FCT grant. The research was guided by two objectives: to understand the personal values and meanings children might use to interpret their technologized lives and to uncover unintended harmful outcomes that may be (more or less) hidden in children’s everyday digital lives. Recognising children as competent ‘agents in their own right’, a dynamic participatory approach was used to reach the intricacies of the relationships between the participants (a total of 41, mostly girls and aged 10-12) and digital and online technologies in late modernity. Drawing from everyday situations, children’s voices were privileged as the main source of understanding to inform a multi-lens approach drawing perspectives from the sociology of risk, childhood studies, socio-technical studies and Zemiology. The qualitative data generated by participants’ heterogeneous and critical accounts is organized in three key themes: i) digital inequalities, ii) controlling parental control and iii) online participation.

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