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#Relationshipgoals: fantasies of the good life in young people's digitally-networked peer cultures

Marston, Kate 2024. #Relationshipgoals: fantasies of the good life in young people's digitally-networked peer cultures. Journal of Youth Studies 27 (2) , pp. 303-321. 10.1080/13676261.2022.2124106

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Drawing on the creative group and individual interviews with young people aged 11–18 years old in England and Wales in 2018, this paper assembles data that addresses the changing nature of intimacies in young people’s digitally-networked lives. Informed by Lauren Berlant’s work (2008, viii), it maps how platforms such as Instagram and YouTube circulate certain ‘fantasies of the good life’ that orient young people towards heteronormative future imaginaries. It argues that publicising intimate relationships on social media works to both reify and unsettle fantasies of monogamy, marriage and domesticity by highlighting their inherent precarity. It also illustrates how smart technologies such as the virtual personal assistants Alexa and Siri reconfigure the good life fantasy. Moving beyond simplistic moral panics that seek to discipline young people’s digital intimacies, this paper aims to engage with the nuances of young people’s digital sexual cultures. Overall, this paper argues that attending to this complexity can enable practitioners to better attune to and support young people to navigate contemporary digital relationships and sexuality issues.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
ISSN: 1367-6261
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 January 2023
Date of Acceptance: 8 September 2022
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 02:41

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