In December 2019 when the American magazine Time named 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg as Person of the Year for her environmental action, adult society was showing signs of acknowledging and listening to the voices of youth. Although youth activism is not a recent phenomenon, the fact is that the worldwide movement to raise awareness of climate change led by Thunberg, the media coverage it has been given, its dissemination on social networks and the impact it has had on political leaders and institutions such as the UN has illustrated what Childhood Sociology has sought to emphasise and acknowledge- children and young people as social actors and agents of change. Young people themselves have clearly shown and communicated their role at a global level through their activism and by taking the lead in this social cause. Based on the potential of this participatory culture, this study seeks to provide children and young people between the ages of 11 and 18 with an opportunity to express their views on their relationship with the media and thereby get to know and discuss one of their daily experiences which is most shared globally.
This study acknowledges that childhood and adolescence are dynamic processes and that children and young people are not to be regarded as future-adult projects but rather as subjects of and in the present time. As a result, we focus on three age groups so as to have an evolving view of what remains and what changes in terms of media practices and experiences. Through the children and young people’s voices, we seek to understand their worlds in the light of technological developments which enable but do not ensure that these voices are let out, heard, reproduced and shared. The societal challenges we are facing make it all the more crucial that these voices have a say to enrich and distinguish public projects and policies addressed at them. These are the ideas that give the project its name: bYou – be you and by you.

For more information byou@ics.uminho.pt