Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Social Media Platforms and Young People

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Youth and Community Studies

DESCRIPTION Social media is prevalent in the lives of young people. Since the emergence of new technologies, particularly the Internet, the youth work sector has had to keep abreast with this phenomenon.

In this study-unit we will attempt to explore this issue and try to conceptualise and find ways how Youth Workers adapt their competencies beyond the traditional methods of interaction with young people. We will explore how the use of Online social network sites like Twitter, Face Book, Pinterest, Instagram and You Tube are not only an excellent means of informing young people but also an influence in the way they think, behave and react.

Consequently this study-unit will accentuate the relationship between Internet and young people, help Youth Work students understand the exponential growth of social media and provide opportunities for Youth Work students to engage in practical ways on how to use social media as a tool for Youth Work practice, namely; E-informing, E-engaging and E-enabling.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit offers an opportunity for Youth Work professionals to understand the Online world and how new technologies can empower young people to express themselves, engage in social and political activism, understand the effects of globalization, to sustain social mobility and to understand youth cultures. The study-unit also provides youth work students with a solid grounding in social media community application focusing on a mix of theory and practice.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Define the major conceptual challenges in researching social media influence amongst young people;
- Discuss core concepts, theories and issues facing the emergence of social media technologies and platforms and their implications for young people in the community;
- Interpret rules of engagement for Social Media use;
- Administer knowledge on the publishing of blogs, podcasts, Social Networks, micro blogging;
- Establish operational parameters and safety strategies.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Identify adequate communication Online;
- Create effective Online awareness campaigns and projects that encourage social inclusion;
- Formulate meaningful active participation of young people;
- Integrate the content being developed by young people Online;
- Recognise the need for an increase in media literacy of young people;
- Locate Online ethical issues and how to safeguard young people.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Boyd,D. (2015). ‘It's Complicated : The Social Lives of Networked Teens’. Yale University Press.
- Hodkinson, P. and S. Lincoln (2008). "Online journals as virtual bedrooms?: Young people, identity and personal space." Young 16(1): 57-46.
- McMillan, S. J. and M. Morrison (2006). "Coming of age with the Internet: A qualitative exploration of how the internet has become an integral part of young people's lives." New Media & Society 8(1): 73-95.
- Palfrey, J. and Gasser, U. (2010) ‘Born Digital : Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives’. The Perseus Books Group.
- Papacharissi, Z(2010). ‘A Networked Self : Identity, Community, and Culture on Social Network Sites’. Taylor & Francis Ltd.
- Tapscott, D. (2008). ‘Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World’. McGraw-Hill Education – Europe.
- Turkle, S. (2013) ‘Alone Together : Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other’. The Perseus Books Group.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation SEM2 No 35%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 65%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.