Western Reads explores the 'Young and the Digital'By Daniel O'Hair/University Communications
Western Washington University has selected S. Craig Watkins acclaimed “The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future” as the Western Reads book for the 2010-2011 academic year.
In its seventh year, Western Reads is WWU’s reading program designed to promote intellectual engagement and civil discourse among members of the campus community.
All freshman and transfer students will receive a complimentary copy of “The Young and the Digital” at orientation, while other students may purchase the book at a discount from the AS Bookstore. Faculty interested in including the book in course work may also receive a free copy. All will be invited to participate in a variety of Western Reads activities during the academic year, including discussions, faculty presentations and keynote lectures by Watkins.
“The Young and the Digital” is based on survey research, in-depth interviews, and fieldwork with teens, young adults, teachers, parents, and technology advocates. While writing this book Watkins fully immersed himself in what he calls the "digital trenches" to see how young people learn, play, bond, communicate, and engage in civic life in the Digital Age.
“Watkins book explores the nature and effects of youth culture’s growing use of digital media,” Mary Janell Metzger, director of Western Reads said. “Watkins details the dangers and positive effects of this shift and offers a rich possibility for dialogue at Western about digital media and culture.”
Watkins has been researching young people's media behaviors for more than 10 years. He teaches in the departments of Radio-Television-Film and Sociology and the Center for African and African American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
The Western Reads selection committee is comprised of faculty, staff and students from across campus. Criteria for selecting the book include issues of concern to students, accessibility, possibilities for interdisciplinary conversation and opportunities for students to reflect on their own lives as learners.
Previous Westerns Reads books include “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan, “Wild Life” by Molly Gloss, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon, “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi, “Honky” by Dalton Conley and “The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything” by Gordy Slack.
Western Reads is sponsored by the WWU Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Academic Support Services and by New Student Services/Family Outreach.