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Reading list Theories: bibliography CO:RE at LSE Published: 10 May 2022

A guided reading list with key texts on nine key topics

This annotated bibliography provides a roadmap for understanding nine key areas of children’s digital lives. It has been designed for researchers and research users and provides essential and supplementary texts on each of the areas.

Download full reading list

Developing the annotated bibliography


Expert consultation meeting, January 2020

We began by asking members of the CO:RE network, in a workshop-style group discussion, to identify the concepts central to research and evidence regarding children’s digital lives.

We arranged and systematised the concepts that they suggested to identify key conceptual areas. These key areas of children’s digital lives were reviewed during follow-up project meetings, and expanded and defined, resulting in nine final key areas (see diagram at the beginning of the bibliography). Next, we organised an online consultation inviting members of the CO:RE network and selected experts on children’s internet use from different subfields to map relevant theories, concepts and disciplines, and to identify priorities and resources in each of the nine areas. The results were organised and summarised in this annotated bibliography.

We thank the experts who contributed to the consultation and helped us create this resource.

This annotated bibliography is designed to answer these questions:

  • If someone was beginning research on X (say, wellbeing or risk) in relation to children online, what must they read? What theories or approaches might they find particularly promising?

  • What sources have CO:RE members themselves found insightful in guiding their thinking on key concepts? And why? Do they raise interesting new research questions?

This resource is not intended to work as a library, nor to dictate any ‘correct’ or ‘ideal’ way to research children online. We offer a road map to get started, and some interesting directions to pursue.

The consultation for developing the bibliography followed a snow-balling process – we first approached members of the CO:RE consortium who shared their ideas about the key concepts, theories and resources, and identified gaps and priorities. We then consulted members of the largest European network working on children’s use of digital technologies – EU Kids Online, with members in 34 countries across Europe – who made further suggestions. We used an online forum to invite recommendations from the Children, Youth and Media network at the European Communication Research and Education Association, a Europe-wide network for researchers and educators. We also invited its members to suggest ways in which the output from the consultation – the annotated bibliography – could be utilised and who might benefit from it. Finally, we made the bibliography available online as a shared working document, and shared on social media an invitation for contributions. Each week we shared a different concept and a link where people could add their suggestions.

After that the bibliography was maintained as an ‘open document’ and work in progress over the duration of the project, allowing it to continue to change as we debated the contents and added new sources.

All topic-focused reading lists:

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