Virtual Vulnerability: Safeguarding Children in Digital Environments



While there has been considerable academic, political and economic attention given to the development of smart futures, little attention has been paid to the impact of smart technologies on childhood. The chapters in this section focus on the impact of emerging technologies in society, and our intention here is to consider some of the challenges which arise in safeguarding children in digital environments. Children, previously ignored in sociological analysis, have increasingly become the centre of social science attention with the growth of childhood studies (see [35]) and framed, arguably often inappropriately, as digital natives [67]. Many of these analyses remain, as Holloway and Valentine argued in [31] either ‘cybertopian’ or ‘cybercritical’, yet adopting such polarised standpoints is unhelpful in understanding the challenges that smart technologies bring. This chapter sets out to consider some of the emerging trends, developments and challenges associated with the design and applications of future technologies and smart environments in safeguarding children online.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SuffolkIpswichUK

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