This paper outlines ongoing research looking at the use made of the Internet by many teenaged girls, who form networks and allegiances for discussion of a whole range of issues. In an examination of data taken from Wiccan web sites, message boards and diaries, it considers the role such subcultural activity on the Internet plays in the lives of participating girls. It is further argued that despite fears that activities involving new technologies are antisocial (Bauman, 2003) and can be isolating and dangerous, the Internet enriches many users’ lives and provides them with opportunities to extend their social experience both on and off line in positive ways. The interface between Wiccan ideas, the use of the Internet and teenaged girls’ burgeoning interest in these is a relationship which attracts my attention; ways in which participating girls communicate with each other and present themselves, how they create a carefully defined sense of community are considered within a cultural studies framework. It is noted how these teenagers learn from each other and follow prescribed codes in order to remain group members. The public nature of the sometimes intimate exchanges exemplifies a common, ambiguous feature of interaction I have observed on the Internet and is also discussed along with what Wiccan ideas offer to this group of people.

 

 

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Internet Identities and Teen Wiccan Subcultures - Dr. Julia Davies

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