The project is a comparative study of adolescent digital literacy and digital media use, using a mixed qualitative approach with an emphasis on ethnography. The rapid increase in children’s engagement with digital technologies raises questions regarding their potential impact on wellbeing. However, the data currently available to us as to this impact are largely inconclusive. This is partially due to the fact that most studies rely on quantitative measures that offer little insight into the actual content consumed, or the contexts within which engagement with media takes place. The study addresses these limitations by introducing the use of ethnographic methods to investigate the broader relational contexts within which teens’ interaction with digital media takes shape. Specifically, it investigates the relationship between two factors found to potentially impact teen wellbeing while using digital media: digital literacy, and the manners in which digital media is integrated into family life. Differences in digital literacy and family integration patterns are examined across both gender and socioeconomic divides, as well as between children who mostly consume digital media, and those who also produce digital media artifacts and contents through active engagements in spaces such as Fabrication Labs or Makerspaces. By taking a qualitative, holistic and longitudinal approach, the study aims to identify mechanisms involved in facilitating a fruitful integration of digital media into children’s lives, and to generate data needed for the development of strategies and guidelines to aid teens, parents and educators promote digital media engagement in manners that would enhance teen wellbeing.
The Martí Franquès Programme (MFP) was born in 2012 as a natural evolution of the doctoral fellowships programme offered for the last decade by the Departments of the University Rovira i Virgili (URV). It was designed to attract the most talented doctoral candidates to work on ground-breaking research projects, in any of the 5 knowledge disciplines (Arts and Humanities, Legal and Social Sciences, Engineering and Architecture, Sciences, Health Sciences). MFP has also unified administrative procedures, enhanced working conditions and concentrated several financial funds. For 2016, the URV goes a step forward, and proposes a revamped management programme (MFP) for 50 fellowships, offered in 2 calls (2016 and 2017), that aligns the existing fellowship programme to the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for Recruitment (C&C), and provide much improved employment and working conditions to the best doctoral candidates from all over the world. The MFP will ensure a selection process that is transparent, open, merit-based, impartial, equitable and internationally advertised for all its positions, and commits to provide equal opportunities for all candidates, including candidates with disabilities. The fellows will be enrolled in one of the 23 URV official doctoral programmes, and will be hosted by our best research groups, who will provide state-of-the-art facilities, and the most innovative training programme, which mandates a secondments to an international institution, to complement their research and transferrable skills training. Short stays at industrial partners are also envisioned (URV has 16 ongoing industrial doctorates), which will help prepare the fellows for a possible career in the private sector, by offering training in specific skills most valued by companies. The MFP is formally backed by 33 partner organizations (4 industrial partners, 1 banks, 1 foundation and 27 international academic organizations), 2 of them co-funding the programme.