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ERIC Number: EJ1078543
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-1468-1811
Advice on Life? Online Fan Forums as a Space for Peer-to-Peer Sex and Relationships Education
Masanet, Maria-Jose; Buckingham, David
Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, v15 n5 p486-499 2015
Previous research has pointed to the potential of entertainment media as a source of informal sex education for young people. New social media may offer additional potential in this respect. In this paper, we consider the pedagogical possibilities and limitations of online fan forums, via a case study of the forums of the controversial British teen drama series Skins. We analyse discussions of the realism of the series' representation of teenage life, and of specific issues (virginity, attractiveness and gay sexuality). We compare participants' discussions of their own experiences--in a section of the forum entitled "advice on life"--with their discussions of the series and the characters. We find that the presentation of issues to do with sexuality sometimes challenges young people to engage in debate, and to move beyond established discourses. However, the value of the series in this respect depends crucially on its "openness"--that is, its avoidance of fixed moral positions--and on its perceived plausibility and authenticity. The forum emerges as a new space for non-formal, peer-to-peer education that has limitations as well as new pedagogical possibilities.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom