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‘I’m good, but not that good’: digitally-skilled young people’s identity in computing

Wong, B. ORCID: (2017) ‘I’m good, but not that good’: digitally-skilled young people’s identity in computing. Computer Science Education, 26 (4). pp. 299-317. ISSN 0899-3408

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/08993408.2017.1292604


Computers and information technology are fast becoming a part of young people’s everyday life. However, there remains a difference between the majority who can use computers and the minority who are computer scientists or professionals. Drawing on 32 semi-structured interviews with digitally-skilled young people (aged 13-19), we explore their views and aspirations in computing, with a focus on the identities and discourses that these youngsters articulate in relation to this field. Our findings suggest that, even among digitally-skilled young people, traditional identities of computing as people who are clever but antisocial still prevail, which can be unattractive for youths, especially girls. Digitally-skilled youths identify with computing in different ways and for different reasons. Most enjoy doing computing but few aspired to being a computer person. Implications of our findings for computing education are discussed, especially the continued need to broaden identities in computing, even for the digitally-skilled.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:69978
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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