Australia’s rural youth, online storytelling and identity performance

Mackay, Sasha (2013) Australia’s rural youth, online storytelling and identity performance. In Maj, Anna (Ed.) Cyberculture Now : Social and Communication Behaviours on the Web. Inter-Disciplinary Press, Witney, United Kindgom, pp. 105-114.

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Online storytelling spaces provide young people who live in rural and remote parts of Australia with an opportunity to develop their personal identities and connect and communicate with other young people. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC’s) rural and regional youth network, Heywire, is such a space ( Heywire invites 16-22 year old Australians who identify as ‘rural’ or ‘regional’ to create an online profile and upload stories about their lives in the form of text, audio, video or photographs. Emerging from my PhD project, this paper describes how rural and regional youth perform their identities through creating stories for the Heywire website, addressing notions of individual and social identities as a sub-theme.

Compared with their city counterparts, the youth who live in regional towns or isolated properties have fewer opportunities to socialise with other people their own age. Subsequently computer mediated technologies, particularly the internet, can enable this group of people to connect with each other and develop a sense of community. In this paper I outline how these possibilities exist within an online storytelling space. I describe a number of reasons for young people’s story-sharing on the Heywire website in order to demonstrate the potential for spaces such as this to enable isolated youth to experience a sense of connection and belonging, despite geographical dispersion and physical isolation.

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ID Code: 64422
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: identity, digital storytelling, digital media, narrative, Heywire, rural youth, Australia
ISBN: 9781848881785
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies (200102)
Divisions: Current > Schools > Creative Writing & Literary Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Inter-Disciplinary Press
Copyright Statement: No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission of Inter-Disciplinary Press.
Deposited On: 13 Nov 2013 23:06
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2014 15:33

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