Youth Geographies and Teen Mobility

27 Jan

My co-authored paper (with Brian H.Y. Lee) on high school students’ mobility in two Vermont school districts is forthcoming in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers (March, 2016). DOI:10.1080/24694452.2015.1124017

Here’s a press release and story about the research by UVM Communications:

Here is the title and abstract:

Mobility, Communication, and Place: Navigating the Landscapes of Suburban U.S. Teens
In the context of sprawl and car-dependence in U.S. metropolitan areas, young people – especially teens in middle-class suburbs – create new mobility practices with near-universal adoption of cellphones and high levels of access to automobiles. The growth in the use of hand-held mobile devices for communication and information may enhance independent mobility and accessibility for higher socio-economic segments of the youth population. In a project with teens in two high schools near Burlington, Vermont, representing somewhat different land-use contexts, we examined how often and in what ways teens use ICTs to arrange transportation, what travel needs are being met and which transportation modes are used, and how household situations contextualize the use of ICTs for mobility. We explore the ways that access to cellphones and cars impacts how high school teens organize and enact their daily lives in suburban and rural contexts. We employ a conceptual framework that connects mobility, communication, and place based on the notion that contemporary teens generate new intersections between the built, digital, and social landscapes.
Keywords: Cellphones, information and communication technologies (ICTs), suburbs, teens, transportation

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