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Pojkarna vid datorn: Unga entusiaster i datateknikens värld
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
1993 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Boys in front of Computers : Young Enthusiasts in the World of Computer Technology (English)
Abstract [en]

Tbe aim of this study is to describe and to search for an understanding of Swedish computer captivated youth. This group is generally known as "hackers", often connoting queer loners and/or persons indulging in illegal activities. This picture is shown not to be a good representation of the Swedish countetpart. Several methods have been employed; participatory observation, interviews, questionnaires, analyses of the content of computer-mediated communication and of computer magazines.

In the first part of the thesis theoretical concepts are discussed such as developmental task, culture (sub-, counterculture) and modernity. The concept 'microworld' is launched as a research tool, albeit not as a theoretical concept. The microworld includes the activities generated around the computer as I well as the actors.

In the second part the content of the micro world is analysed. Strikingly and almost without exceptions, the "inhabitants" are boys and men. One chapter addresses the history of computer interest, and three themes are elaborated; a tendency towards political alteruativism, illegal activities and the existence of a ''hacker-ethic". Formal associations and informal groups are described. The content of a so called BBS, a computerized "notice-board", was found to be ordinary. The magazines nourish dreams about making a fortune as a professional computer game programmer.

The third part focuses on the inhabitants of the microworld. Three different groups are identified and presented through comprehensible "portraits". The groups can be distinguished by means of several criteria of which two are decisive: Does the boy earn money regularly or not on his skill? Is he or is he not well integrated into the microworld? Many of these boys have a vision of perfection, an idea here called "The Opimal X". A questionnaire survey shows that the group of "severely" computer captivated boys in Sweden is quite small. A positive correlation is also revealed between an interest in computers and the school subjects Physics and Mathematics.

In the final part the microworld is discussed as being partly a countercuhure. The computer skills provide ways for the boys to enter into adult life. The microworld also encompasses an informal educational system. Important driving forces behind the boys' intense interest in computers is gaining social benefits and a sense of belonging to a wider social context.

''[be aim of this study is to describe and to search for an understanding of Swedish computer captivatedl youth. This group is generally known as "hackers", often connoting queer loners and/or personsj indulging in illegal activities. This picture is shown not to be a good representation of the Swedish; countetpart. Several methods have been employedj participatory observation, interviews, questionnaires,! analyses of the content of computer-mediatedcommunication and of computer magazines.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stehag : Symposion graduale , 1993. , 366 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 89
Keyword [en]
computer-mediated communication, computer interest, counterculture, crackers, developmental task, hackers, microworld, modernity, subculture, Sweden, youth
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-35086Local ID: 24823ISBN: 91-7139-128-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-35086DiVA: diva2:255934
Public defence
1993-04-29, Sal C 3, Hus C, Universitetsområdet Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2012-06-04Bibliographically approved

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Nissen, Jörgen

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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