Children in Cyberspace: A New Frontier?



The new British prime minister, Tony Blair, made an election promise that in the term of his government all school children would have an email address. Bill Clinton made a similar promise in terms of school children in the United States. While there are now more web-sites than books in the Library of Congress, it is estimated that 50 per cent of the world’s population does not have access to a telephone. What do these promises and differences for the world’s children mean for our understanding of childhood at the end of the twentieth century? In this paper, I want to begin to sketch out some of the ways in which Cyberspace as a kind of space relates to both concerns about childhood and the ways in which developmental psychology, in particular, has thought about children and space.


Computer Game Virtual Space Discursive Practice Spatial Concept British Prime Minister 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    See J. Lave, Cognition in Practice (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1988).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lave, op. cit.; M. Cole, Cultural Psychology: a Once and Future Discipline (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1996).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    D. Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (London: Routledge, 1990).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    V. Walkerdine, ‘Beyond Developmentalism’, Theory and Psychology, vol. 3, no. 4 (1993), pp. 451–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    M. Cole, Y. Engstrom, O. Vasquez (eds), Mind, Culture and Activity: Seminal Papers from the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Including: M. Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (London: Allen Lane, 1977);Google Scholar
  7. J. Henriques et al., Changing the Subject (London: Routledge, 1998).Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    L. Blackman, ‘The Dangerous Classes: Retelling the Psychiatric Story’, Feminism and Psychology, Special Issue on Social Class, vol. 6, no. 3 (1996), pp. 361–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 11.
    For example: G. Tarde, On Communication and Social Influence: Selected Papers (1890) (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969),CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. and G. LeBon, The Crowd, A Study of the Popular Mind (1895) (London: T.F. Unwin, 1921).Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    V. Walkerdine, Daddy’s Girl: Young Girls and Popular Culture (London: Macmillan, 1997).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 14.
    See G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (London: Athlone, 1988).Google Scholar
  13. 16.
    C. Urwin, ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’, in C. Bazalguette and D. Buckingham (eds), In Front of the Children: Screen Entertainment and Young Audiences (London: BFI, 1995).Google Scholar
  14. 17.
    M. Fuller and H. Jenkins, ‘Nintendo® and New World Travel Writing: A Dialogue’, in S. Jones (ed.), Cybersociety: Computer-Mediated Communication and Community (London: Sage Publications, 1995), pp. 57–73.Google Scholar
  15. 18.
    H. Bhabha, ‘The Other Question: the Stereotype and Colonial Discourse’, Screen, 24 (1984), pp. 18–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 19.
    J. Piaget, The Child’s Concept of Space (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1956).Google Scholar
  17. 22.
    E.g. A. Bandura, Social Learning Theory (London: Prentice Hall, 1977);Google Scholar
  18. H.T. Himmelweit, A.N. Oppenheim, P. Vince et al., Television and the Child: an Empirical Study of the Effect of Television on the Young (London and New York: The Nuffield Foundation, Oxford University Press, 1958).Google Scholar
  19. 23.
    N. Postman, The Disappearance of Childhood (London: W.H. Allen, 1983).Google Scholar
  20. 24.
    For example: P. Jenkins, Intimate Enemies: Moral Panics in Contemporary Great Britain (New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1992);Google Scholar
  21. J. Best, Threatened Children: Rhetoric and Concern about Child Victims (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993).Google Scholar
  22. 25.
    E. Newson, ‘Video Violence and the Protection of Children’, Journal of Mental Health, vol. 3, no. 2 (1994), pp. 221–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 26.
    For example: D. Buckingham, ‘Intruder in the House’, paper presented at the Fourth International Television Studies Conference (1991).Google Scholar
  24. 27.
    S. Turkle, The Second Self (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1984).Google Scholar
  25. 29.
    C. Gailey, ‘Mediated Messages’, Journal of Popular Culture, Summer 1993, pp. 73–91; T. Toles, ‘Video Games and American Military Ideology’, Arena Review, vol. 9, no. 1, (1985), pp. 58–76.Google Scholar
  26. 30.
    T. Panelas, ‘Consumption of Leisure and the Social Construction of the Peer Group’, Youth and Society, vol. 15, no. 1, (1983), pp. 51–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 31.
    M. Kinder, Playing with Power in Movies, Television and Video Games: from Muppet Babies to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  28. 36.
    V. Walkerdine, The Mastery of Reason: Cognitive Development and the Production of Rationality (London: Routledge, 1988; reprint 1990).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations