Title

Managing Identity: Virtual and Real-Life Worlds in YA Fiction

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Princeton Survey Research Associates report that 93% of teens ages 12-17 use the internet on a daily basis, 81% use social media, and 27% of them play games with people with whom they connect through the internet with who they have never met in real life[1]. In recent years, not only do adolescents have to manage their changing lives in the physical world, but they also have to construct and manage an online identity. Regardless of such staggering numbers, the vast majority of current young adult literature is underutilizing a rich opportunity for examining themes of how adolescents negotiate their identity and self-representation, and is also neglecting to portray an almost universal part of a teenager’s life. A few YA authors, namely Vivian Vande Velde and Corey Ann Haydu, are starting to incorporate a virtual world into their books and the lives of their characters. I analyze their work against my own in my thesis in order to examine how forming a virtual and real-life identity conflict and complement one another. My project is the beginnings of the kind of young adult novel that I’d always wanted when I was growing up.

Category

Visual and Performing Arts (including Creative Writing)

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Apr 17th, 3:40 PM Apr 17th, 4:00 PM

Managing Identity: Virtual and Real-Life Worlds in YA Fiction

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Princeton Survey Research Associates report that 93% of teens ages 12-17 use the internet on a daily basis, 81% use social media, and 27% of them play games with people with whom they connect through the internet with who they have never met in real life[1]. In recent years, not only do adolescents have to manage their changing lives in the physical world, but they also have to construct and manage an online identity. Regardless of such staggering numbers, the vast majority of current young adult literature is underutilizing a rich opportunity for examining themes of how adolescents negotiate their identity and self-representation, and is also neglecting to portray an almost universal part of a teenager’s life. A few YA authors, namely Vivian Vande Velde and Corey Ann Haydu, are starting to incorporate a virtual world into their books and the lives of their characters. I analyze their work against my own in my thesis in order to examine how forming a virtual and real-life identity conflict and complement one another. My project is the beginnings of the kind of young adult novel that I’d always wanted when I was growing up.